Corn flour or corn starch? In this recipe, it seems like cornstarch should be OK.

It’s always confusing. Should I blitz some cornmeal in a blender or use the cornstarch I already have?

  • Posted by: Susan
  • December 29, 2020
Coffee and Hazelnut Pavlova
Recipe question for: Coffee and Hazelnut Pavlova


Lori T. December 29, 2020
Cornmeal and corn flour are quite a bit different than cornstarch, at least in the US. Cornmeal and corn flour are made with the kernel of the field corn, ground in varied degrees of fineness. Corn starch is made using only a portion of the endosperm, where the starch is. The cornstarch is not there just to wick up moisture, it's helping dictate the texture of the pavlova in the end. You could not grind cornmeal to anything close to finely enough to prevent ending up with a grittiness in the meringue - so cornstarch is a must. You can make a pavlova with any- but it's so much better with. It's also a lot better in texture if you add in a pinch of cream of tartar as well. If you live in Britain, Australia or one of the other English influenced lands, then you may use corn flour because it's what we in the US call cornstarch. For the purposes of this recipe, what you want is starch- not grit.
Nancy December 29, 2020
Susan...cornflour is what British writers and recipes call [USA] cornstarch, so you're right to use that. Not cornmeal, blitzed or not.
HalfPint December 29, 2020
I would use the cornstarch unless you can really grind the cornmeal to a fine powder. It's only 1 & 1/2 tsp and it's there to wick up any moisture (at least, that is my understanding of cornstarch in any meringue).
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