Heat the olive oil in a medium-size saute pan over medium heat. Add the corn, shallots, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper and cook, stirring, until the corn and shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Combine the eggs and cream in a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend well. Add the cornmeal, flour, masa harina, baking powder, cayenne, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the water. Mix well. Fold in the corn-and-shallot mixture. Stir in the cheese. Heat 1/2 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, gently drop the batter, 2 tablespoons at a time, into the pan. You can cook about four cakes at a time. Cook until the cakes are lightly golden on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Repeat until all of the oil and the batter are used up. Drain the cakes on paper towels. Sprinkle with the Essence. Serve warm.
Yield: 16 cakes