Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
Oil two 7 inch pans with parchment paper on the bottom, oil parchment. Dust with flour. Set aside.
Add one cup boiling water to cocoa powder, stir to remove clumps and to combine. Let cool to room temperature.
In bowl of mixer add in all dry ingredients, mix to combine.
Add butter and mix until well combined.
Slowly add in the room temperature cocoa mixture. Mix to combine.
In separate bowl mix eggs and vanilla. Pour into flour mixture. Mix well to combine and until batter is formed.
Pour evenly into two prepared pans.
Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean (45-50 min).
Heat heavy cream to just about boiling. Pour over chocolate.
Let sit for 5 minutes then stir in small circular motions until homogenous mixture forms (meaning heavy cream and chocolate resemble liquid ganache).
Let cool completely and refrigerate for about an hour (or more).
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
In medium sauce pan heat egg whites and sugar until warmed and sugar has melted. (do a pinch test, if you pinch the egg mixture and don't feel sugar granule's its ready).
Transfer to mixing bowl and mix on high speed with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
Add in vanilla and salt, mix.
Slowing add in butter in small portions as you continue to whisk.
Mix until buttercream is formed.
Take two cakes and slice horizontally so you have four total cake layers.
Set first cake layer on cake plate or 8inch cardboard round.
Whip the ganache to make it fluffy, add 1/3 to top of first cake layer.
Repeat with next two cake layers.
Top with final cake layer and chill for an hour.
After cake has chilled, coat the cake with swiss meringue butter cream crumb coat. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
Coat cake with final coat of swiss meringue butter cream.
Decorate top by piping with Wiltons 4B french star tip in swirls , every other in opposite directions and then a shell down the side in between each swirl.
Pipe shell border along the bottom.
Sprinkle top with dragees to completely cover and sprinkle dragees lightly over piping.
Refrigerate cake if not serving right away. When time to serve, serve at room temp so ganache is soft and creamy.