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We have three kids in three different schools this year, and although my daughter, who is on the Continuous Learning Calendar, has been settled into her daily routine for a few weeks, my two sons are just getting started.

For their first day I wanted the kids to come home to a special treat, so I baked this Chocolate Layer Cake, thick with a luxurious ganache frosting.



3/4 cup butter

2 ounces chocolate, chopped

2 1/4 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cup cream

3 cups chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate, stirring, over low heat.

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl of electric mixer. Add chocolate mixture, buttermilk and eggs. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Divide batter between cake pans. Bake until cakes spring back when gently pressed, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes, invert onto wire rack.

Meanwhile, bring cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips, mix until frosting is smooth and starts to thicken.

Place 1 cooled layer on cake plate. Spread with 1/3 cup frosting. Top with second layer. Frost top and side of cake with remaining frosting.