“This pound cake hits all the marks: easy to make, ideal for multiple occasions, keeps for a few days, can be made in advance, indulgent without feeling excessive, incredible baking smells, readily accessible ingredients, and kids love it,” writes Roxana Jullapat in her cookbook Mother Grains (out April 2021). “In Spanish, this cake is called queque seco, or ‘dried cake,’ because it isn’t iced, glazed, or frosted. As a trained pastry chef I couldn’t help incorporating ricotta, which adds a buttery richness and a bit of tang to the batter.” If you can’t find it, substitute full-fat cottage cheese. Jullapat prefers the subtlety of white cornmeal in this recipe, but you can use yellow too, which has a more prominent flavor. The goal is to find the most local cornmeal you can, to taste what the country has to offer (we’d also recommend ordering the phenomenal cornmeal from Anson Mills.) Serve it for breakfast with lemon curd or jam, for dessert alongside lightly whipped cream and fresh fruit, or as is, to accompany afternoon coffee.
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