Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line 3x deep 8” cake tins.
Prepare the dry ingredients by sifting the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt, ensuring all lumps are removed and well combined.
Prepare the cocoa and espresso mixture. Whisk together the cocoa powder and boiling water until well combined. Add in your espresso powder and combine. (You can brew a shot of espresso using your coffee machine and add that in for extra flavour). Leave to one side.
Beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add in your vanilla extract and beat again.
Pre-whisk your eggs in a jug and slowly add to the butter mixture, a little at a time, ensuring it is well mixed before adding in the next addition. Be careful not to overbeat as it will cause the mixture to split.
Next, add your flour mixture and cocoa powder mixture to the butter mix, in an alternating sequence. Add each mixture in about four parts. Ensure you do not overbeat the mixture.
Divide evenly between the tins and bake for 35-40 mins. Check if it is cooked by inserting a skewer or cake tester. It should come out clean.
Leave the cakes to cool completely in the tins, then place on a cooling rack. In the meantime, you can make a start on the ganache (method at bottom of page)
Once the ganache has been prepared, you can start assembling the cake. Level off the cake layers using a serrated knife. Add about a tablespoon of ganache to the first layer. Spread evenly to the edge of the cake. Place the second layer on top and repeat with ganache filling. Place the final layer on top of the cake ensuring the flat side of the cake is facing up.
Using the remaining ganache, coat the top and sides of the cake using a palate knife, ensuring no cake is visible. You can use an offset knife to create a pattern.
Finely chop the dark chocolate and place in a large bowl.
Heat your double cream in the microwave. You want to ensure that the double cream is hot but not boiling (this took me about a minute or so). It is important that you keep a close eye on it.
Pour the hot double cream over the chocolate and cover the bowl for a minute or so, allowing the chocolate to melt. After a couple of minutes, gently stir the ganache mixture until well combined. Be careful to not beat the mixture as it will cause it to split. Leave the ganache on the side to thicken until it reaches the correct desired coating consistency.