In medium bowl, combine unsweetened cocoa with 2 cups boiling water, mixing with wire whisk until smooth. Cool completely. Sift flour with soda, salt and baking powder. Preheat oven to 350. Grease well and lightly flour three 9 x 1 1/2 inch layer cake pans.
In large bowl of electric mixer, at high speed, beat
butter with sugar, eggs, and vanilla, scraping bowl
occasionally, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in the flour mixture (in fourths), alternately with the cocoa mixture (in thirds.)
Begin and end with flour mixture. Do not overbeat.
Divide evenly into pans: smooth top with spatula. Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Carefully loosen sides with spatula. Remove from pans: cool on racks.
1 pkg. (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 c. butter or regular margarine
1/2 c. light cream
2 1/2 c. unsifted confectioners sugar
In medium saucepan, combine chocolate pieces,
cream butter; stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat. With whisk, blend in 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar. Turn into bowl; place over ice. Beat until frosting holds shape.
1 c. heavy cream, chilled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. unsifted confectioners sugar
Whip cream with sugar and vanilla. To assemble: On plate, place a layer: top side down; spread with half of cream. Place second layer, top side down; spread with the rest of cream. Place third layer, top side up.
To frost cake: With metal spatula, frost sides first,
covering whipped cream filling; use rest of frosting on top, swirling decoratively. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. To cut, use a thin edged sharp knife; slice with a sawing motion.