Information about cornflour and cornflour recipe
down for Cornflour recipes
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there's not that much to say about Cornflour in terms of history etc., we feel
this ingredient still merits a page of its own due to its unique
properties in cooking.
Cornflour, also known as cornstarch,
is the starch which has been extracted from maize (Indian corn). Used primarily
as a thickening agent, among its qualities are that its easy to use, tasteless
and contains no wheat or gluten.
purchased, cornflour is usually
a fine white, powder although is is also available with a yellowish tinge to it.
However, don't confuse cornflour with the finely ground "cornmeal" which
I believe Americans call cornflour.
Cornflour is milled from maize
(corn) from which the outer hull, germ and gluten are removed. The corn wet
milling process separates corn into its four basic components: starch, germ,
fibre and protein.
There are primarily four processing
steps necessary to obtain cornflour:-
1. The corn is
soaked for 30 to 40 hours which starts the process of breaking the starch and
resultant mixture is coarsely ground to separate the germ from the rest of
remaining slush is then finely ground and separated into fibre, starch and
4. The starch
is further screened in hydro cyclones (machinery which works on a centrifuge
basis) after which it is dried.
Unlike most other flours, cornflour
blends to a smooth cream or slurry when combined with cold liquid. It therefore cuts
the need for fats when used to make sauces and eliminates the hazard of lumps
forming. Because it is tasteless, it can be used in delicate sauces and recipes
which call for a thickening agent although if a totally translucent effect is
desired, then arrowroot would be a better ingredient to use. A couple of
drawbacks are that it doesn't stand up to freezing or prolonged cooking.
Cornflour is also used, usually with other flours, in the making
of cakes and baked goods, either to create a lighter texture or to
maintain a gluten/wheat free status as well as in certain desserts/puddings in
particular in fruit pie fillings.
When adding to liquids, always blend
cornflour with a little cold liquid (any cold liquid will do be it wine, beer,
water, stock etc., depending on what liquid is being used in the recipe) before adding to the
remaining mixture. In general use twice
as much cold liquid as cornflour and mix to a thin paste in a small cup or glass
then stir into recipe to be thickened. Keep stirring gently until the mixture
comes to the boil, by which time it will slightly clear and thicken. Avoid
further cooking. In general 1 tablespoon of cornflour will thicken between
240ml/8fl.oz and 480ml/16fl.oz. liquid depending on the recipe .
Always store cornflour
in a cool, dry, dark place where it will last indefinitely.
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