Dark Chocolate Brownie Cake

When you attempt this cake, think thick double chocolate brownies. Less is more when it comes to this basic cake batter. Use a whisk, and stir, rather than whip, the room-temperature ingredients together. I made this a 3-layer cake but you can also make it one cake in an 8-inch round cake pan. Be creative and use your favorite icing recipe and decorations. My mother in law loves dark chocolate so I wanted to make her something extra special on Mother’s Day.
1 1/2 cup(s) sifted cake flour
1/3 cup(s) Dutch-process cocoa (HERSHEY’S Dark Cocoa)
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1 cup(s) sugar
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 cup(s) strong brewed coffee, warm (I used Starbucks Reserve Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Coffee)
1/3 cup(s) light olive oil or regular
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1 tablespoon(s) aged balsamic vinegar (I used 25 year)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut parchment paper rounds to fit inside the cake pan(s). Lightly coat one 8-inch round cake pan with one parchment round and spray with PAM Baking spray or use shortening. Or use three 9-inch rounds, place paper, and spray with PAM. Set aside.
Whisk the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. Stir the coffee, oil, vanilla, and vinegar together and whisk into the flour mixture just until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center rack of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean — 25 to 30 minutes. If you are making three 9-inch rounds, it will roughly be 3/4 cup + 1 TBSP. of cake batter per cake round and baking for 10-13 minutes. Keep your eyes on it. Don’t overcook them. You want them as moist as possible.
Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack or place in the freezer until ready to add your frosting and glaze.
Make your whipped icing and put half between two layers saving the very top layer for the deep chocolate glaze.
Frosting Ingredients:
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2 – ¼ (4.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate (I used 24 ounces of Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers found at Costco)
Frosting Directions:
Combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved
Melt your semisweet chocolate in a large microwavable bowl stirring every 30 seconds until completely smooth and melted
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. 
Reduce the speed to low and add melted chocolate. Let chocolate cool a little but not completely because you don’t want it to harden. Beat until combined scraping down sides as needed. Slowly add in the cocoa mixture and completely combine
You can use all of the frosting to spread between each layer and all over the outside of the cake or use this deep chocolate glaze recipe below to drizzle on the top of the cake. Spread about 1 cup of Deep Chocolate Glaze on the very top. It is okay if it starts to dribble off the sides. It looks nice. Stick the whole cake in the fridge for an hour or overnight before serving.  
When you put it in the fridge the deep chocolate glaze will harden just like the photo
Decorating your cake:You can make chocolate covered strawberries or just put different fresh fruit on top such as raspberries, blueberries, and fresh strawberries. It look great just the way it is though!
Cake can be served plain alongside whipped cream or coffee ice cream. We used sea salt caramel gelato and it was a perfect combination
Deep Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:
8 ounce(s) (1 1/3 cups) bittersweet chocolate chips, or finely chopped bar (GHIRARDELLI 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate chips)
4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon(s) dark corn syrup
1 cup(s) (plus 2 tablespoons) heavy cream
Place the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Gently stir, using a whisk, until smooth. Use immediately.
Inspired by: