Martha Stewart's Ultimate Chocolate Cake

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Makes two 9-inch layers
 





Ingredients

  •     1 cup cocoa, plus more for dusting
  •     3/4 cup strong coffee, boiling
  •     1 cup milk, room temperature
  •     2-3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  •     1 teaspoon baking soda
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  •     2-1/2 cups sugar
  •     1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  •     4 large eggs, room temperature
  •     Hershey's Cocoa Chocolate Frosting
     




Instructions


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment, and dust with cocoa powder; tap out excess.

Step 2: Sift cocoa; whisk in boiling coffee and milk. Let cool. Sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    
Step 3: Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Pour in the cooled cocoa mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.
    
Step 4: Add the sifted dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring until just combined.

Step 5: Pour the batter into the prepared pans (about 4 cups in each pan). Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Step 6: Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes on a cooling rack. Carefully run a small offset spatula around the edge of the cakes to loosen them from the pan. Remove cakes from pans, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.

Step 7: To assemble, using a serrated knife, level the top surface of each cake layer. Place four strips of parchment paper around the perimeter of the cake stand. Spread with 3/4 cup of chocolate frosting. Top with the remaining layer, bottom side up. Using a swirling motion, cover the outside of cake with the remaining frosting. Remove parchment-paper strips





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