This make a 9-inch layer cake
Preheat over to 350 and grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line pans with parchment and grease parchment.
Sift the following together into a large bowl:
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Add to the dry ingredients:
1 cup buttermilk*
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
(At this point if you wish to make a mocha cake add 1 tablespoon espresso powder to boiling water, mix well)
Whisk everything together until well incorporated. Divide batter between pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife, toothpick or such comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing. Cool completely before frosting with Ganache Icing
*if you don't have buttermilk (or don't want to go to the expensive of buying it just for this recipe) add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar OR lemon juice to 1 cup milk (minus 1 tablespoon) and let sit for 5 minutes before using.
This makes plenty for the cake, plus enough for a few cupcakes as well.
1 cup heavy cream
10 ounces semi sweet, dark or bitter-sweet chocolate, finely chopped**
Put cream in heavy pan (big enough for both the cream and the chocolate and some wiggle room) over medium heat until bubbles appear around edges. Take pan off heat, add chocolate; shake the pan to submerge the chocolate and leave it to melt for a few minutes. Using a whisk stir gently to mix the chocolate to a smooth cream. Do not beat the mixture or you'll get unwanted bubbles and you'll loose the pretty glossy sheen.
Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes on counter to thicken. You'll want to stir it a few times as the edges will thicken faster than the middle.
Using a wide spatula or icing knife, test the ganache by putting some in the center of the bottom layer of cake. It should fall in thick waves but not run off completely. Allow to set up before serving.
This cake is best at room temperature, but you can refrigerate it. The original recipe suggests sandwiching the cakes together with your favorite jam. I am a bit of a purist and just want chocolate, so have omitted this step completely.
**For best results do not use chocolate chips. Fresh and Easy has some inexpensive but delicious chocolate. Remember the yummier the chocolate the yummier the icing!
From the cookbook "Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day" Cheating Chocolate Cake and Ganache.