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Corn Grits Instead Of Polenta

Asked by Ash85. Answered on 28th August 2017

Full question

I am unable to find polenta, however I can find Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits. Can I use these corn grits in place of polenta in the Lemon Polenta Cake? If yes, then do I need to grind the corn grits and what quantity should I use in the cake?

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) uses fine ground polenta or cornmeal. Corn grits are popular in America and are cooked in a similar way to polenta, to make a soft porridge-like dish. However there are some differences between polenta and grits as they are made with different varieties of corn and grits can soften and become mushy more easily.

In addition some grits are made with hominy, that is corn that is treated with alkaline first, called nixtamalization. This is a traditional process that allows nutrients (mainly niacin) in the corn to be released and absorbed by humans. It also changes the structure of the corn, making it easier to mix into a dough. So we are not sure that it would work quite so well in the cake. The brand mentioned may work in this cake if it is actually more like polenta, though we suspect that it may be a bit too coarse and we would prefer to use a fine ground cornmeal as an alternative to polenta. Cornmeal would be used in the same quantity as polenta.

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