This is THE ultimate chocolate cake if there ever was one. It is rich, dense, weighs more than some small children....this thing is impressive. I made it thinking it would only serve 12, but if you cut this into 12 larger slices, I think you will find that between the ganache frosting and dense cake, people would only be able to eat half of a slice. I could only eat half of a slice, and I live for amazing chocolaty things.
2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk (low fat)
1 c. strong brewed coffee (dark roast)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two round baking pans (9 inch) with Pam spray with flour (or you can use original Pam and coat with flour, making sure to tap out the excess flour after coating the pan). In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, and salt together. Add the buttermilk and coffee and mix. Add in the eggs, oil and vanilla and stir everything together until the lumps are gone and you are left with a thick and sticky batter. Pour, dividing evenly, among both prepared pans. Bake for 32-35 minutes until the tops of each cake bounce back when touched. Let them cool for 10 minutes in the cake pans, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz.)
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 stick margarine
On medium heat, place the whipping cream and margarine in a small saucepan, whisking until everything is melted and combined together. Pour the chocolate chips into a medium size bowl. Pour in the hot milk mixture and whisk the two together until the chocolate is all melted and you are left with a creamy chocolate consistency. Cover the bowl with Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
To assemble the cake, place a piece of parchment paper on your flat work surface. Place the wire rack with your cooled cake layers on top. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on the first layer of cake. You don't have to worry too much about the sides because you will be filling that in later.
Place the second layer of cake on top. Using a frosting spatula, fill in the cracks where the two layers meet. Frost the top of the cake, and then finish with the sides, scraping excess frosting off with the spatula as necessary. I used a large spatula coming from under both sides to lift the cake and place it on a cake doily so that it would be easier to cut and work with later on.