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**Best part of this recipe is the Buttercream frosting.

For cake:

  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F.
  • Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
  • Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper rounds.
  • Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until smooth. Remove from over water.
  • Cool to barely lukewarm.
  • Sift flour and next 4 ingredients into medium bowl.
  • Whisk milk and yogurt to blend in small bowl.
  • Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar, butter, and lavender in large bowl until smooth.
  • Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in melted chocolate until smooth.
  • Mix in dry ingredients alternately with milk mixture in 3 additions each.
  • Divide batter between prepared pans.
  • Bake cakes until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  • Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes.
  • Turn cakes out onto racks; remove parchment and cool completely.

For buttercream frosting:

  • Stir 8 ounces chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until smooth.
  • Cool until barely lukewarm but still pourable.
  • Mix cocoa powder and 7 tablespoons water in heavy small saucepan.
  • Stir over medium-low heat until smooth and thick but still pourable, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if necessary.
  • Cool. Beat butter, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and orange peel in large bowl to blend.
  • Add melted chocolate, vanilla, and salt; beat until smooth.
  • Beat in cocoa mixture.
  • Gradually add remaining 3 2/3 cups powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth.
  • Mix in Grand Marnier.
  • Place 1 cake layer on platter.
  • Spread 1 1/2 cups frosting over top of cake.
  • Top with second cake layer.
  • Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake, swirling decoratively.
  • Mound chocolate curls in center of cake.
  • Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate.
  • Let cake stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving.
  • *Dried lavender blossoms are available at natural foods stores and at some specialty foods stores and farmers' markets.