Cake: Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly
grease two (9-inch) cake pans and line them with circles of parchment paper or greased
Sift flour, cocoa, ancho chile powder, cayenne, baking soda, baking powder and
salt onto a sheet of wax paper. Sift 2 more times to mix and aerate.
Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at high speed
for 30 seconds, or until well combined and smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Continue beating,
scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary, until light and fluffy, about
5 more minutes.
With the mixer on a low setting, or using a rubber spatula, beat or fold in one-third
of the flour mixture. beat or fold in vanilla extract, half of the buttermilk and
half of the coffee, then another one-third of the flour mixture.
Beat or fold in the remaining buttermilk and coffee, then the remaining flour
Spread batter evenly in prepared pans.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the centers spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool the cake layers in the pans on a wire rack.
Invert each cake onto a plate.
Trim the tops flat with a serrated knife. Spread one-third of the Ganache over
one layer. Flip the other layer on top, and frost the top and sides of the cake
with the remaining Ganache.
Ganache: Put chocolate into a small bowl.
In a small saucepan, bring cream to a scald over medium heat.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Working from the center out, gently stir
to melt and blend until smooth. Let the Ganache sit until slightly thickened, about
10 minutes. It should be spreadable, but still pourable. If the Ganache doesn't
have a smooth patina, blend in a few drops of cold heavy cream. A matte finish will
dry to a mirror shine.