• Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
  • Butter, or spray with a non-stick vegetable spray, two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) round baking pans.
  • Line the bottom of the pans with parchment or wax paper. In a heatproof bowl place the chopped unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder.
  • Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and cocoa powder and stir until they have melted. Set aside to cool while you make the batter.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk or sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
  • Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy (this will take about 3 minutes).
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture and beat to combine.
  • Add the flour (in three additions) and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  • Beat only until the ingredients are mixed together.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center just comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from their pans and cool completely on a greased wire rack before frosting.

Frosting Method:

  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Then place the melted chocolate, milk, confectioners sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and softened butter in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (can use a hand mixer)
  • Beat on low speed until you have a smooth mixture (about 2 minutes)
  • Then increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat frosting for about 3-5 minutes or until frosting is of spreading consistency.
  • If necessary, add more milk or sugar.
  • To Assemble: Place one layer of cake, top side down, on your serving plate and cover with a layer of frosting. Then place the second layer of cake, top side down, onto the first cake layer and then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  • You can garnish with fresh fruit or shaved chocolate.
  • Serves 8 - 10 people.