Halloween chocolate gateau

Dress-up your Halloween party with Eric Lanlard's lush medley of pumpkin, chocolate and light sponge layers
By Eric Lanlard
Halloween chocolate gateau
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1.25 hours 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus 5 hrs setting in fridge
  • Effort: hard



  • 8 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 100 g dark cocoa powder

For the syrup:

  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml calvados
  • 200 ml water

For the pumpkin brulee:

  • 200 g pumpkin puree
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves

For the mousse:

  • 200 g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids broken into pieces
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • 50 g caster sugar

For the decoration:

  • 200 g milk chocolate
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 200 g white chocolate
  • 600 ml whipping cream


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

2. First make the sponge. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs and caster sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder and fold into the beaten egg mixture. Transfer the mixture into a greased, lined 25cm loose-based cake tin, tilting to spread evenly.

4. Bake the sponge for 20-25 minutes until risen and set.

5. Set the cake aside to cool on a wire rack then carefully slice the cake in half across, forming two sponge discs.

6. Turn the oven down to 150°C/Gas 2.

7. To make the pumpkin brulee, mix together the puree, double cream and sugar. Season with nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, mixing in well.

8. Pour the pumpkin mixture into a shallow baking dish and place the dish in a deep roasting tin. Pour hot water into the roasting tin so that it reaches half-way up the side of the baking dish.

9. Bake the pumpkin brulee for 30 minutes, until set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

10. Meanwhile, make the Calvados syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil briskly until reduced and thickened into a syrup, set aside to cool and stir in the Calvados.

11. To make the mousse melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water. Pour the chocolate into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

12. Whip the cream in a large mixing bowl until light peaks form. Fold a quarter of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate and fold in the caster sugar. Fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining whipped cream.

13. To create the cake brush one sponge half generously with the Calvados syrup. Spread over a layer of the chocolate mousse (using about two-thirds of the mousse), then layer over the pumpkin brulee.

14. Top the brulee with the remaining sponge. Spread the remaining chocolate mousse over the sponge, cover and chill in the fridge for 4 hours to set.

15. To decorate the cake place the milk, dark and white chocolate in 3 separate small saucepans. Add 200ml of cream to each pan. Cook the chocolate mixtures gently, stirring often, until melted.

16. Pour the three chocolate mixtures over the cake, creating a marbled effect. Cover and chill until set.

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