Crystallized ginger and cornflour are required in Nigella's Ginger And Walnut Carrot Cake recipe. But I couldn't find both of them in my country. What are the substitutions for them?
Nigella's Ginger And Walnut Carrot Cake (from AT MY TABLE) is flavoured with both ground ginger and sweet-spicy nuggets of crystallized ginger. Crystallized ginger can be labelled as candied ginger and sometimes glace ginger, so you may find it under these names or you could use drained preserved ginger (the type stored in jars of syrup). If using preserved ginger then we suggest you pat the pieces of ginger with paper towels first, to absorb any excess syrup. If you can't find these then you can omit the crystallized ginger and use extra walnuts for the decoration. It will be a slightly plainer cake but will still be delicious.
Cornflour is often labelled as cornstarch and we suspect you may be able to find it under this name instead. It is used in the frosting to prevent the frosting from becoming too runny, which can sometimes happen with some of the "spreadable" types of cream cheese. You could use potato starch as an alternative but please note that this is not the same ingredient as potato flour. If you can't find either cornstarch or potato starch then you can make the icing without them, but keep the cream cheese very cold and mix it quickly into the butter and sugar mixture. It may help also to add the ginger juice to the butter and sugar before mixing in the cream cheese. Overmixing will increase the risk of the icing becoming too runny.