Mix cocoa with boiling water, stirring with wire whip until smooth. Cool in refrigerator while preparing other ingredients. In large mixer bowl, beat butter with sugar, eggs, and vanilla on high speed 5 minutes. Sift flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt. On low speed, add dry ingredients alternately with cocoa and liquid, starting and ending with flour. (Do not overbeat.)
Divide batter into 2 round pans (9 x 1 1/2") lined with buttered waxed paper. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until cake tests dry with a toothpick. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove cake and cool on racks.
Use 1 layer of cake for Great Strawberry Chocolate Shortcake dessert. The second layer may be frozen for other great chocolate desserts - or the 2 layers may be frosted together.
For shortcake: Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread over top of 1 layer of cake. Arrange fresh strawberries on top. Melt chocolate and drizzle over berries. Chill to firm chocolate. Makes 8 servings.