Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a tight-sealing 9-inch spring-form cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and set it there.
Combine the flour and spices in a bowl and set aside.
Place the sugar and 3/4 cup shortening in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs and molasses. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
Pour the boiling water into a glass-measuring cup. Mix in the baking soda until dissolved. Very slowly dribble and mix this mixture into the sugar/shortening mixture. Now mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture until a smooth batter forms.
Pour batter into the cake pan. Bake 50 minutes, or until the cakes is set and springs back when gently touched in the centre.
Set the cake on a rack and cool to room temperature. Once there, cover with plastic wrap until ready to unmould and serve. (Cake can be made a day before serving.)
When ready to serve, make toffee sauce by placing all ingredients in a small pot set over medium, to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, and simmer sauce until it thickens and darkens slightly, about 4 minutes.
Cut the cake into wedges, plate, top with toffee sauce and serve.
The batter for the cake is very wet; so much so you might think the cake won't set. It will, though, and yield a dense, moist cake.
Note: A recipe for Date Paste can be found on our website.