1) To prepare your bread machine: Remove the paddles from the bread machine bucket. Spray the inside of the bucket lightly with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Program the machine for bake only, 40 minutes, no keep warm option.
2) To prepare for baking in your oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan.
3) To make the first layer: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, 6 tablespoons cocoa, and 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder. Stir in the milk, vanilla, and oil, mixing until smooth. Pour the batter into the bread machine bucket, or into the 9"round pan.
4) To make the second layer: Mix the 3/4 cup brown sugar with the 1/4 cup cocoa and 1 teaspoon espresso powder, and sprinkle this mixture over the batter. Gently drizzle the hot coffee or water over the uncooked batter; there's no need to mix it in. Really.
5) To bake the cake: If you're baking in the bread machine, press Start; allow the machine to complete its cycle.
6) If baking in the oven, place the pan in the preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes, removing the cake when it appears set and is bubbly around the bottom.
7) Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken as it stands, and when totally cooled will be the consistency of medium-thick fudge sauce.
8) To serve, scoop servings of the warm cake onto individual plates; top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. If you can't serve it while it's warm, keep it at room temperature (for 2 or 3 days), and reheat it VERY briefly in the microwave just before serving.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.