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More answers

Alternative To Polenta

Asked by Ruby25. Answered on 28th March 2017

Full question

I can't buy polenta or cornmeal where I live in India. Can I use all-purpose flour in the Lemon Polenta Cake instead?

Lemon Polenta Cake
Photo by Lis Parsons
Lemon Polenta Cake
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Lemon Polenta Cake (from KITCHEN) is made with a combination of polenta or cornmeal plus ground almonds (almond meal). The cake is gluten free and deliciously moist. Unfortunately you can't make the cake with plain (all-purpose) flour as a substitute for the polenta as flour absorbs liquid at a different rate to the polenta and the texture of the cake will be dry and heavy. Neither should the cake be made with just ground almonds as it will be too oily. It may be possible to make the cake with fine semolina instead of polenta (semolina is made with wheat but is similar in texture to polenta) but as we have not tested this as an alternative we are unable to guarantee the results.

You may instead like to try Nigella's Lemon Meringue Cake, which is an innovative mixture of sponge cake and soft meringue that is sandwiched with tangy lemon curd. The Chocolate Olive Oil Cake is also worth considering as it can be made with ground almonds for a gluten free option that is good for dessert, or with plain flour as a more regular cake.

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What 2 Others have said

  • I have also used both fine and coarse semolina and they’ve both worked well.

    Posted by Lunatick on 5th November 2021
  • I have in fact used semolina in place of polenta and it works very well. Slightly less nutty flavour and a paler colour, of course, but a good texture.

    Posted by DeborahJH on 15th November 2020
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