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Triple Layer Devil's Food Cake
The Best Chocolate Cake Ever
12 servings

1 3/4 cups water
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar (~ 1 lb)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter three 9-inch cake pans with 1 3/4 inch high sides. Line pan bottoms with waxed paper rounds. Butter paper.

Bring water and coffee powder to boil in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add cocoa and whisk until smooth. Cool completely.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into medium bow. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add sugar in 4 additions, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and yolks 1 at a time, beating just to blend after each addition. Using rubber spatula, mix dry ingredients into butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper, cool completely.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Return cakes to pans and cover tightly with foil. Let stand at room temperature.)

12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweeetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons framboise liqueur or Grand Marnier
Melt chocolate, butter and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in framboise. Cool icing until firm enough to spread, about 2 hours.

Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen. Cut cake into 2 layers using serrated knife. Place bottom cake layer on platter cut side up. Spread 2/3 cup icing over. Cover with top cake layer cut side down. Spread all but 1/2 cup icing over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate cake until icing is set, about 1 hour.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate cake and remaining icing separately. Rewarm icing over low heat until just spreadable before continuing with recipe.)