Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Butter, or spray with a nonstick 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.
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
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
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: 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.
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. Can garnish with fresh fruit or shaved chocolate. Serves 8-10 people.