A perennial favorite for a chocolate lover's birthday cake!
Yield: 3 8-inch round layers
Butter and flour three round 8 inch cake pans. (Or spray them with nonstick and shake flour in them so that it creates a thin coating on the bottom and sides of the pans). Alternatively, cut baking parchment to fit the bottom of the cake pan. It'll stick to the bottom of the pan and not curl up if you spray the pan with nonstick first. Which may defeat the easy-cleanup purpose somewhat of using parchment, but that cake bottom's coming out clean...Worth it.
In a small bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave - heat in 30 sec. intervals until melted, stirring after each interval.
Cream butter, add sugar and beat at med for 2 minutes. Add eggs. Blend in cooled melted chocolate, then add vanilla.
Do not combine add the vanilla to the chocolate - the chocolate will seize - instantly turn from glossy thick liquid to matte paste. Which won't turn your batter chocolate, just chunky. Which has its place, but that's a whole 'nother cake.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
Sifting adds a little air to the batter, and incorporates the dry ingredients together so that the salt doesn't end up all in one bite.
Add dry ingredients to batter, alternating with ice water. Beat until just incorporated. Divide into the three prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks and allow to cool completely before frosting. (If you used baking parchment, peel the parchment paper off the bottoms of the cakes while they're still warm.)
Frost with Chocolate Fudge Frosting
(Tommy's Birthday 2011)