1For the cake:
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, 1 1/2 tsp salt, baking soda, baking powder, and espresso powder.
2In a small bowl, combine eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla.
3Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and blend on high for 2 minutes.
4Whisk in cold coffee.
5Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9" cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing cakes and cooling completely.
7For the frosting:
In a mixing bowl, combine butter, 3/4 c. dulce de leche, shortening, salt, and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
8Add meringue powder and half of the powdered sugar. Blend on low until completely incorporated.
9Add remaining powdered sugar and blend completely. Add milk as needed to loosen.
10Turn mixer on high and whip for 4-5 minutes.
11With a cake leveler or knife, removed domed top of each cake. Spread frosting evenly between the layers and over entire cake as a crumb coat. Refrigerate until set. Use remaining frosting to cover and decorate cake.
12Microwave remaining dulce de leche and drizzle over cake. Decorate with additional chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips.