Yields one 9 round cake (3 layers)
1 cup strong coffee, hot
1 cup cold water
1 cup natural cocoa powder
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
2 ½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
NOTE: All amounts are given in U.S. standard measures. Click here for international equivalents (page will open in a new browser window).
Preheat oven to 350° F and prepare 2 x 9 inch round cake pans by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and lining bottom of pan with a wax paper circle.
1.dissolve the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in the hot coffee and stir until completely smooth. Add the cold water and whisk together until smooth.
2.sift the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt together on to a piece of parchment or wax paper.
3.put the butter and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer and, using the paddle attachment, beat until lighter in color and fluffy.
4.add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well.
5.add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, starting and finishing with dry.
6.fill one pan with 1/3 of the batter and the other with the remaining 2/3 batter (makeing sure neither pan is more than 2/3 full) and bake. Check the pans after about 30 minutes and every ten minutes after that, until a cake tester comes out clean.
7.cool in pan for 15 minutes then turn out onto rack and cool completely.
8.when completely cool, wrap well in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, then slice the thicker layer in two horizontally so that now you have three layers for filling and stacking.