To make the cake, place both chocolates in top of a double boiler over simmering
water or in a microwave; stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light
and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in chocolate,
vanilla extract and brandy or water.
In a small bowl stir together flour, salt and baking soda. With mixer on low
speed, alternately add flour in fourths and buttermilk in thirds, beginning and
ending with the flour. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in center of oven for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center
comes out clean.
Remove to rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Invert to remove from pan and cool for 20 minutes before frosting.
Meanwhile make Chocolate Glaze, if desired, by melting chocolate and butter in
a small saucepan or microwave. Remove from heat and stir in corn syrup and water.
If too thin, let sit until it thickens slightly. Pour warm glaze over top of cake,
allowing it to drop down the sides. If the glaze is too thick, reheat slightly.
Let cake sit several hours before serving.
The cake may be covered and held at room temperature for several days or
frozen. Freeze, uncovered, until glaze is solid, then wrap in foil. Defrost, uncovered,
at room temperature.