I live in Pakistan and I would like to make Nigella's Lemon Polenta Cake (from Kitchen) but I am having trouble locating polenta or cornmeal. Could you please be kind enough to recommend a substitute or can I just replace the polenta with more ground almonds?
Polenta and cornmeal are both made from maize and they are also both more coarse than flour so are slightly gritty in texture. These characteristics give the polenta cake its golden colour and crumbly texture. Unfortunately using regular flour will change the texture of the cake as the glutens in the flour will act differently to the gluten-free maize and also flour and polenta/cormeal absorb different quantities of liquid so the cake could be either too dry or too wet.
Using extra ground almonds is also not a good idea as the almonds have a high oil content and the cake could come out a little greasy and wet.
If you would like to make a lemon cake with a lemon syrup and can't find polenta then we would suggest instead trying Nigella's Lemon Syrup Loaf Cake from Domestic Goddess. This is made with regular flour and is a perennial favourite.