- Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Lightly grease two (9-inch) cake pans and line them with circles of parchment paper or greased wax paper.
- Sift flour, cocoa, ancho chile powder, cayenne, baking soda, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of wax paper.
- Sift 2 more times to mix and aerate.
- Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at high speed for 30 seconds, or until well combined and smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
- Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary, until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.
- With the mixer on a low setting, or using a rubber spatula, beat or fold in one-third of the flour mixture.
- Beat or fold in vanilla extract, half of the buttermilk and half of the coffee, then another one-third of the flour mixture.
- Beat or fold in the remaining buttermilk and coffee, then the remaining flour mixture.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pans.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the centers spring back when lightly pressed.
- Cool the cake layers in the pans on a wire rack.
- Invert each cake onto a plate.
- Trim the tops flat with a serrated knife.
- Spread one-third of the ganache over one layer.
- Flip the other layer on top, and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache.
- Put chocolate in a small bowl.
- In a small saucepan, bring cream to a scald over medium heat.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.
- Working from the center out, gently stir to melt and blend until smooth.
- Let the ganache sit until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- It should be spreadable, but still pourable.
- If the ganache doesn't have a smooth patina, blend in a few drops of cold heavy cream.
- A matte finish will dry to a mirror shine.
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