- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cane sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups coffee (or water)
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp vinegar (apple cider or distilled white vinegar)
Preheat the oven to 350° F (175°C).
Prepare two 9″ × 2″ -inch non-stick cake pans by spraying them with non-stick spray and then lightly coating them with cocoa powder. Note: This cake can easily be halved if desired.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly combined.
Combine the coffee, oil, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously to evenly combine. Add the vinegar and stir to blend well.
Spoon an equal portion of the batter into each of the prepared baking pans. Immediately transfer to the preheated oven.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove from the oven and place onto a wire cooling rack for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cooled slightly. Invert the cakes out onto the cooling rack, remove the pans and let cool completely before icing.
- 3/4 lb bittersweet chocolate (12 oz or approx. 2 cups) min. 54% cocoa mass, finely chopped
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
While the cake layers are cooling, make the ganache.
To start the ganache, over medium-low heat, warm the coconut milk in a small pot. Keep a close eye on it — you don’t want the milk to boil. Let the milk bubble slightly as this scorches the proteins, but stop it just before it boils. If it boils, the heat will destabilize the fat globules and it will split or separate the ganache.
Next, add the grated chocolate to the milk and let sit for 30 seconds to give the chocolate time to melt into the hot milk.
Next, using a spoon, working from the center out, mix the chocolate into the milk to create an emulsion. As soon as the chocolate has melted into the cream and the mixture is smooth, glossy, and fully combined – STOP stirring.
Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature so it can set. It will firm up as it cools down. Do not stir or agitate the ganache while cooling; that can break it.
Allow the ganache to sit for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, it has set enough to use as a frosting. Alternatively, it can be whisked a couple of times to create a more airy frosting.
Set aside while the cakes finish cooling.
To assemble the cake, whisk the ganache.
If the ganache has firmed up a bit too much for the icing, you can either vigorously whisk it or briefly place over simmering water to make it a bit more pliable.
If your cakes have baked into a dome shape, slice a bit off of the dome to make an even top.
Using an offset spatula, begin icing the cake by placing a large dollop of ganache in the center and spread it around evenly. Carefully place the second cake on top, crumb-side down.
If desired, you can do a crumb coat, but it’s not absolutely necessary for this cake. If doing a crumb coat, be sure you don’t refrigerate the bottom layer for more than a minute or two before putting on the second layer; otherwise, it will be too cold and the ganache might solidify.
To finish decorating, ice the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache and serve.
Cake boards are sold in specialty baking shops, but you can easily make your own. Just cut out a sturdy piece of cardboard in the size you need and neatly cover it completely with foil.