3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream cheese frosting (recipe below)
Chocolate curls, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, pour boiling water over the cocoa powder. Stir to dissolve the cocoa. Stir in the buttermilk after the mixture cools somewhat. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt onto waxed paper.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Beat the dry ingredients into mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Pour the batter evenly into the three pans. Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes or until centers spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans onto the wire racks to cool completely.
When cakes are cool, place one layer on a cake plate. Spread top with a third of the frosting. Stack a second layer on top and frost with half the remaining frosting. Stack the third layer on the top and spread with remaining frosting. Top with chocolate curls, if desired.
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 tbsp orange-flavored liqueur (or orange juice)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
In a large bowl, with electric mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese to soften. Beat in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the orange-flavored liqueur and vanilla. Beat in remaining powdered sugar. Add heavy cream and beat at high speed until stiff. Use as stated above to frost cake.
TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CURLS (if using):
1 8-oz chocolate candy bar, room temperature
Draw a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler across the flat side of chocolate bar letting chocolate curl. Lift curls with a toothpick and place atop cake.
Note: This is a file photo.