Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour 3 9\" round cake pans.
Combine cocoa and boiling water, stir until smooth, then set aside.
Cream butter, gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beating at low speed of an electric mixer, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Stir in the vanilla - Do not overbeat.
Pour in pans and bake 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool pans 10 minutes, then remove the cake from pans; cool completely.
Spread filling between layers; spread frosting on top and sides - Chill until serving time.
Filling: Beat whipping cream and vanilla until foamy.
Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Yield: 2 cups
Frosting: Combine chocolate, half and half, and butter in a heavy saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring until chocolate melts.
Remove from heat; add powdered sugar, mixing well.
Set saucepan in ice, and beat at low speed of an electric mixer until the frosting holds its shape and loses its gloss.
Add a few more drops of half and half if needed to make spreading consistency.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
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