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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Holy Tuesday and the Gato Moka (Mocha Cake)

Another type of Gato Moka. S/he looks surprised too.

Many, many years ago, in a restaurant in the south of Tenerife, my mother had asked for a slice of gateau (cake), to which the waiter replied, "Ewwww ...  you want to eat cat?" 

Yes, gateau is the same pronunciation as gato, the Spanish for cat. 

So, I was amused and surprised to see this titled Gato Moka - which, if translated literally, would be a coffee-chocolate flavoured cat - but, apparently, it's a culinary tradition at Easter to have a Mocha Cake for Holy Tuesday. And who are we to argue with that?

Gato Moka
Martes Santo el Gato Moka

This dessert is a reflection of the influence on the Canarian gastronomy of French cuisine in which the use of butter is detected, for example. It is essential to use a good coffee, and sweeten the coffee where we are going to dip the cake to enhance the flavour of it.


400 gr. of butter
50 gr. icing sugar.
80 gr. Espresso Coffee
100 gr. Sweetened Expresso Coffee (for dipping the biscuits/cake)
8 gr. soluble/instant coffee.
50 gr. of chopped almonds.
biscuits or sobados (a type of butter cake).

By biscuits, do they mean Lengua de gato (Cat's Tongues?). To be honest, I think what you really want here are layers of chocolate cake, previously made, or bought is fine.


Beat the butter with the icing sugar for about 10 minutes. Add the soluble coffee and the espresso coffee little by little and mix until all the ingredients are integrated, until it has the texture of a cream.

In a container alternate layers of the mocha cream and biscuits/cake briefly dipped in the sweetened espresso coffee, ending with a layer of cream. Sprinkle with the almonds and a little instant coffee. Store in the refrigerator. 

Hoy no podía faltar para el Martes Santo el Gato Moka

Slightly different version with Lolita Bienmesabe - Gato Moka