Hello, and welcome to the Almond Shamah Chiffon cake!
This was for my new boss’s birthday, and it was highly experimental for me, as I’ve never made a chiffon, used a huge quantity of syrup or made a whipped cream frosting before.
1. For the cake part, I made almond flour with raw, unblanched almonds and then toasted the flour. About 1/2 of the oil used was almond oil drained from almond butter jars. I baked the cakes on Saturday, then I cooled and wrapped them in plastic wrap. I syrupted and frosted on Sunday, refrigerated overnight, took out of the fridge at 11:20 am and the frosting was still good until at least 2:00, when the last slice was eaten).
2. I used the ‘shake the syringe’ method to syrup the cake. The Desaranno (or however it’s spelled) amaretto is—oooooh—really good!!!
3. For the jam whipped cream frosting, the recipe caled for 12 oz whipping cream + 9 oz jam, but I made it with 16 oz whipping cream and used some of Rose’s raspberry conserve for the rest, and I probably ate the most of extra 1/2 cup of frosting. I used Polaner’s seedless raspberry jam. Even the small amount of Rose’s conserves that I added greatly improved the flavor and color.
The chiffon cakes cool really, really fast —less than 2 hours! When I unwrapped them, they were very moist. I don’t quite understand the need for syrup. I couldn’t cut into it to see what it was like, but it seemd really wonderful to me as is. However, I went on faith and started syruping.
I was croaking as I added 1/4 c. syrup to each of the top and bottom of the cake! It’s a ton of syrup! I wanted to stop at 2T per side, but I forged ahead.
I had trouble judging when the whipped cream was done after adding the jam. I’m not sure if I overbeat it or underbeat it, but I couldn’t get stiff peaks—unless they occur, like, 3 seconds after adding the jam (in which case, I overbeat). I was afraid to assume I underbeat and keep going, lest I overbeat, so I nervously called it a day and frosted away.
I found the cake a little bit too literally ‘moist.’ It wasn’t wet or releasing liquid or overdense, but it was just this side of ‘wet.’ I think the syrup literally reaches the saturation point, so unless I did something wrong, it could take less syrup.
Most people were surprised at how much almond (almonds, extract, oil & amaretto) were in the cake, as they said it wasn’t pronounced. I even used 2x extract, as the organic extract I have isn’t strong. I would use more amaretto in the syrup next time, and maybe more extract (yes, that’s me, anti-Extract Anne talking) next time.
I also think that the raspberry whipped cream, though absolutely amazing, doesn’t unify with the cake. You taste one, then the other, but not a unit. I think something milder would go better with the delicate almond flavor.
I think everyone liked it very much, though, except for maybe one person (most of her slice was still on her desk at 3:00). Her whipped cream was still holding—impressive!