2 1/4 cups sugar
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 3/4 tsp baking soda
• 1 cup cocoa powder (dutched)
• 3 large eggs
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 10 tbsp vegetable oil (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)
• 1 1/4 cups whole milk
• 1 1/4 cups strong coffee
• 1 1/4 tsp salt
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9″ × 2″ -inch non-stick cake pans. If not using non-stick pans, spray first with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder together. Whisk until everything is evenly combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, and oil together. Then add the milk and cooled coffee and whisk until blended.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk well, making sure everything is evenly combined.
Divide the batter between the baking pans and place immediately into the oven. Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and place onto a cooling rack for about 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the cakes onto a cooling rack, peel off the parchment and let completely cool before icing.
Step 3: Assembling & Serving the Cake
To assemble the cake, whisk the ganache. If your cakes have a dome shape, slice a bit off the top to even them out. Using an offset spatula, begin icing the cake by placing a large dollop of ganache in the center and spread it around evenly. Carefully place the second cake on top, crumb-side down.
To make ganache with half and half, you'll need:
4 ounces chopped chocolate
4 ounces half and half
(quantities can be doubled, tripled, etc; just maintain the same ratio of equal weights)
Place the half and half in a saucepan. Over medium-low heat (higher, and it might scorch the pan), bring it to a simmer. Once it comes to a simmer (not quite to a boil), remove from heat.
Pour the hot half and half on top of the chocolate. Using a whisk, stir the mixture. It will progress from very separate elements to melty chocolate and cream, then (oooooh) to a smooth, silky, chocolatey substance.
Let the ganache set for 15 minutes, or as long as it takes to set to your desired consistency. In general, as a topping, you'll want the ganache to be syrup-thick: liquid enough to pour, but thick enough that it won't just dribble over the sides of a cake etc. You might prefer it slightly thicker if you're using it for a filling; simply let it sit until it If desired, you can do a crumb coat, but it’s not absolutely necessary for this cake.
To finish decorating, ice the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache and serve. Enjoy!