1/2 cups butter (3/4 pound)
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder (Ghirardelli or other good quality cocoa powder)
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso (dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water)
Beat until pale (about 5 minutes) the butter, sugar, and vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. In three batches, beat the cocoa mixture into the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and instant coffee.
Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch tube or bundt pan. Pour in the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Check at 1 hour. (The type of pan will affect the cooking time; we cooked our cake in a bundt pan and the cooking time was 1 hour and 10 minutes.) Let cool in pan for 20 minutes.