Mocha gateau

by Ed Halmagyi


  • 1 basic chocolate cake, without icing
  • 1 cup coffee liqueur
  • 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 150g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee powder
  • finely grated chocolate, to garnish


1 Slice the cake into four layers and sprinkle each with coffee liqueur. Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment for 3 minutes, until very light and creamy. Set aside.
2 Clean the mixer bowl and place the yolks into it. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and set over a medium heat. Cook, brushing down the sides occasionally with a damp pastry brush to prevent the formation of crystals, until the syrup reaches 121°C on a sugar thermometer. If you do not have a sugar thermometer, then a drop of the syrup should forma form ball if dropped into cold water. Remove form the heat.
3 Begin beating the egg yolks with the whisk attachment on high speed when the syrup is almost at temperature. Once the syrup reaches 121°C, add to the whisking yolks in a steady stream, taking care not to splash the side of the mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until light and completely cool.
4 Change to the paddle attachment, then add the butter 1 Tbsp at a time, allowing the mixture to beat fully between additions. Beat in the vanilla, and stir in the chocolate. Dissolve the coffee powder in 1 Tbsp warm water, then beat in.
5 Layer the cake with buttercream, and decorate with finely grated chocolate.