Boozy and packed with coffee liqueur, this mocha coconut layer cake is exactly what the doctor ordered
For the cake:
• 110g unsalted butter
• 220g granulated sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 4 tablespoons desiccated or shredded coconut, plus a little extra for decoration
• 290g plain flour
• 310ml milk
• 1 quantity Chocolate ganache, cooled
For the coffee syrup:
• 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
• 4 tablespoons coffee liqueur or 4 tablespoons water
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line, grease and flour three 20 cm cake pans as shown.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in the vanilla extract, salt, baking powder and coconut.
2 Mix in half the flour, then half the milk, then the remaining flour and then the milk.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 30–35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
3 Cool the cakes in their tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and turn the cakes right side up again. Leave to cool completely then level any domed cakes with a serrated knife.
4 Make the coffee syrup by heating the sugar and instant coffee with 125 ml boiling water in a small saucepan for 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the coffee liqueur (or additional water).
5 To assemble: place 1 cooled cake (cut side down, if levelled) on a large platter. Use a pastry brush or teaspoon to soak the entire top of the cake with the syrup. Place about 2 heaped tablespoons of ganache on top and use a blunt knife to spread it over the surface of the cake, stopping just shy of the edge.
6 Top with the second cake layer (cut side down) and press down slightly. As before, cover with coffee syrup and ganache then top with the third cake (cut side down).
7 Spoon the remaining ganache on top of the cake, smoothing it out cake’s surface. Bring it right to the edge and halfway down the side of the top layer.
8 Sprinkle with some coconut. The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
Recipe and photography courtesy of Izy Hossack, extracted from Top With Cinnamon. © Hardie Grant