Chocolate Cake

By Ina Garten

Cake Ingredients
Cook Time: 35 min
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Cake Directions
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. With the paddle attachment, mix on low until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until combined On a low speed, slowly mix the wet ingredients to the dry. Continue to mix on low, adding the freshly brewed cup of coffee.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare your 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Grease your pans with butter making sure to grease the bottom and sides of the pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour. Shake the flour around in the pan so that the flour covers the bottom and sides evenly. Then pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool in the pans for 30 minutes. Then with a fork, make sure to lift the edges of the cake around the entire pan so that nothing sticks. This will ensure a clean transfer when you remove the cake from its pan. Remove the cakes from the pan, placing 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. Once the frosting is prepared, with a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Frosting Ingredients
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate (6 oz. for frosting, 2 oz. for decorative shavings)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Frosting Directions
To prepare the frosting, fill a medium pan with 2 inches of water. Take your chocolate bar and roughly chop it. Put the pot on the stove top at medium/high heat until the water boils. Then lower the heat to reduce the boil to a simmer. Place the heat proof bowl with chocolate over the pot and whisk constantly until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the stove top and allow to cool to room temperature

Meanwhile, beat (don't whip) the butter on medium/high heat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix the vanilla and egg yolk into the butter for another 3 minutes. Adjust the speed to low and gradually mix in the confectioners sugar. Continue to beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the bowl occasionally. Heat 2 teaspoons of water in the microwave for 1 minute. Then mix 1 tablespoon of instant coffee into the water until it dissolves. On low speed, slowly add the dissolved coffee and chocolate. Mix until combined. Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

To frost your cake, start by placing the cake, flat side up, on a cake stand or platter. Add a large portion of frosting on top, about 3/4 or 1 cup of frosting, and spread evenly along the top. Lay the second cake on top with the rounded surface facing up. Spread another 3/4 to 1 cup of frosting on top. Then spread frosting along the side.

To prepare the chocolate shavings, use a cheese grater to shave the chocolate. Take a piece of aluminum foil and spread a small amount at a time on the foil. Lay the foil along the edge. Quickly lift up and press along the cake. Continue until you cover the entire surface.