Costa Rica: Coconut and Orange Queque Seco (Pound Cake)

You’ll notice a trend in some of my recent blog posts…whenever I’m feeling like I need a health kick I’ll create a dish with a healthier edge – whether it be banting, vegetarian, low carb, or just a salad (how boring!). In these instances though I’ve tried to still make something delicious. And this dish was no exception.

I know very little about Costa Rica. In fact, as I write this I actually don’t even know which country it’s part of. I think South America mainly based on the types of dishes that came up when  I googled Costa Rican cuisine – similar to Argentina, Columbia and the like. Because of these similarities I tried to find something that was realy unique… and discovered the Costa Rican Queque Seco (Pound cake). I get especially excited when I find cake recipes because many of them can use coconut flour, honey or Xylitol as substitutes for normal flour and sugar, making it somewhat healthier in that regard. And this was no exception. The original Queque recipe can be found here. I’m not yet confident enough to just substitute ingredients on my own, so googled a coconut flour pound cake and found this recipe.

When the cake had cooked it looked super delicious in the tin. However, 2.5 seconds later I hit a snag where it wouldn’t just ease out of the tin – to date, greasing of tins is like rocket science for me. I just cannot get it right. After a bit of fighting with it, and all confidence waning, this was the result…

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Some may call it a dog’s breakfast (well, that’s what some of my class teachers used to call the homework that some of the boys in our class did!). I nibbled a few of the straggling pieces, which tasted pretty good. I then made a coconut milk and Xyltol glaze, which can be found here. I poked some holes in the pieces and let the glaze soak in. I took some to Laura’s for dinner and she spoke quite well of it (I still wasn’t convinced at this stage). I then took some to work the following day (I managed to make it look a lot prettier), and I got some pretty good reviews from my colleagues which was a bonus. I ate some more and loved it – I think the coconut milk had soaked through nicely overnight and it really was delicious.

The verdict? I would definitely make it again – after some ‘pan greasing’ lessons. What else did I learn? Costa Rica is famous for coffee, and it is in fact part of Central America, bordered by Nicaragua, Panama, the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Ecuador to the south of the Cocos Island (which is a national park). I’m ashamed to say that I had to google further to find out whether Central America is part of South or North America (at least I knew it wasn’t a continent on it’s own). It is in fact part of North America for anybody else whose strong point was NOT Geography!

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