The cake was beautiful as well as tasty. For a better presentation, put it on a pretty cake stand (I know I have one, but I can't find it!), and take some time to make curly chocolate shavings. I was in a hurry on Thanksgiving morning so my shavings came out more like straight flakes.
Anyway, here is the recipe, which I adapted for us gluten free eaters:
For the cake layers
Unsalted butter and tapioca flour (or some other light gluten free flour) for the pans
2 1/4 cups (10 1/8 oz.) Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum*
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (2 5/8 oz.) Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. table salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee
*UPDATE: I use Namaste gluten free flour now. If you use Namaste (or a GF flour mix that has the xanthan already in it), then omit the xanthan gum.
Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 9x2 inch round cake pans,
Sift together the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and canola oil. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time and mix well. Gradually mix the flour mixture and milk alternately in small amounts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. After the ingredients are blended well, slowly add the hot coffee with mixer on low speed, just until combined. The batter will be quite thin.
Divide the batter equally among the three pans. Bake, switching positions and rotating the pans halfway through, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it and the ceter feels firm to the touch, 20-25 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on a rack.
I had made the cake ahead, so after they cooled, I wrapped them up in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer until I was ready to assemble the cake on Thanksgiving morning. It froze and thawed beautifully.
Make the Coffee-Whiskey Whipped Cream
1 pkg. Starbucks Via instant coffee (or 1 Tbs. instant espresso granules)
1/4 cup Irish whiskey (Jameson brand is certified gluten free)
3 cups heavy cream
3 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar.
Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment. Stir the coffee granules into the whiskey until completely dissolved. In the chilled bowl, whip all ingredients together until medium peaks form.
Assemble the Cake
I did this part while the layers were frozen, which made them easier to handle without breaking or crumbling. Place first layer on your platter and spread about 1/3 of the cream on top. Place second layer on top of cream and press down lightly so that the cream will ooze out the sides a little bit. Repeat with third layer and pile the remaining cream on top. There is plenty of cream, so I saved a cup or so to use as a coffee topping later (very yummy!).
Make the chocolate shavings
It's a good idea to do this a little ahead of time, then refrigerate them until you're ready to top the cake.
1 4 oz. block semisweet chocolate (about 1 inch thick), at room temperature
1 4 oz. block white chocolate (about 1 inch thick), at room temperature
Microwave each block of chocolate on medium power for 20-30 seconds to soften slightly, then draw a vegetable peeler along the bar's edge, letting the curls fall onto waxed paper.
Arrange the curls on top of the cake.
Take pictures of your beautiful creation, then enjoy.