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- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 4½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1⅓ cups vegetable or canola oil
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups freshly brewed, extra-strong hot coffee
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1½ cups whipping (heavy) cream
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder; sift or whisk together to mix. Using an electric mixer on low speed, add oil, buttermilk and eggs; mix well. Add hot coffee in a thin stream, pouring down the side of the bowl. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Add vanilla and mix until batter is smooth.
- Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
- In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate and cream. Place pan over simmering water (the upper pan should not touch the water.) Heat and stir the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature and ganache becomes thick enough to easily spread. Tip: Place bowl in a larger bowl of ice water to speed cooling and thickening, stirring Ganache as it cools. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and heat to simmering. Place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
- Using an offset spatula, spread ganache between layers and over top and sides of cake.