Bring molasses, honey and sugar to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Stir in anise, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, lemon zest and butter. Dissolve bicarb soda in water then stir into the molasses mixture. Sift together 6 cups of flour with the baking powder and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Stir in molasses mixture and eggs until smooth. Stir in remaining 3 cups flour until a stiff dough has formed.
Divide dough into 4 pieces to make it more manageable. Roll the dough to 5mm thick on a well floured surface and cut into shapes with a biscuit cutter.
Bake biscuits on ungreased baking trays 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.