Almond Chiffon Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting

22 Jan

Who: Katie and her original partner in crime (read baking – we (read she) are law abiding citizens)

What: Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Almond Shamah Chiffon Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream

When: January 18, 2010

Where: Katie’s Mom’s Magical Oven – Sugar Land

Why: The rare warm weather said to bake something light and fluffy – chiffon cake fit the bill. But what to dress it in? The suggested raspberry buttercream or the lighter raspberry whipped cream? Let’s dress her like a lady. Raspberry whipped cream fits nicely.

How: Well, little lady (yeah dudes, you’re little ladies, too, because guess what? I’m the author and I’ll assign genders as I please), uh, I can’t be clever anymore, so let’s just get on with it.

Almonds are good when they’re raw. They’re good when they’re blanched. But they’re great when they’re toasted. Rose told us to toast them. So we did. She told us to grind them up in the food processor with some of the flour (Wondra, she adamantly insisted), so we did. Jeebus Johnny Christ, did it smell fantastic. And it was only the first step.

We had an awesome new tool this time – digital scale! Digital scale is a cool friend, he weighs things and tells us we need ten fewer grams of egg whites, so we spoon out some of the whites, only for them to all bloop out as one big egg white. We used 11 eggs getting this right – I think it was really supposed to take about 8 eggs total. The yolks and some sugar went into a bowl and got the shit beat out of them until light and pale and fluffy. Excuse me, until a ribbon formed when the beater was lifted. Rose told us to pour the almond/flour mixture on top of the beat egg yolks and let it sit. Are you sure? Really? Ok…you wrote the Cake Bible, which might as well be the real bible, so we’ll trust you. She was right. the flour sank in slowly, and it was beautiful.

I have a confession to make, Rose: I have never beat egg whites before. Ever. I imagine their texture just like I imagine the texture of snow – something I’ve never really been in but see on TV all the time and just have to come up with my own idea of what it’s like. I’ve always wanted to beat egg whites – beating something only to see it get frothier and more structured fascinates me. I’ve always LOVED whipping cream, so I was very excited that this recipe called for beating egg whites. It was just as amazing as I had imagined it would be. And more. Some cream of tartar helped stabilize it.

The next step was to fold the whites into the yolk/flour mixture. I had also never folded whites into anything, so this was really exciting. Rose told us it was supposed to form a very thick batter, and it was indeed quite thick, and extremely delicious. We spooned it into two floured 9 inch round pans, lined in parchment on bottom, and baked for about 20 minutes. Immediately upon leaving the oven, each cake was liberated from it’s metal prison cell in a series of flips and flops from on cooling rack to another. They waited for us while we went to the liquor store for amaretto liqueur.

I need money. Lots of money. For lots of amaretto. First try, and it was delicious. The syrup was easy enough, bring sugar and water to a boil, let it cool, and stir in the amaretto. The hard part was leveling the cakes so they would have a nice spongy surface to brush the syrup onto. I cut one layer completely crooked. Oops. Guess who cut the second one. The syrup brushed on easily, and tasted amazing. We almost skimped on the syrup. No. Do not skimp. Rose says syrup. You syrup.

The raspberry whipped cream is now my go-to frosting for revamping a played out cake idea. I’ve been tired of buttercream frosting lately, too sweet, and too heavy. This whipped cream was just a pint of whipped cream, whipped until stiff peaks, and then whipped in a jar of raspberry jelly (all fruit spread was actually what we used, no fake sugar stuff, just natural fruit). Um. Ok. Yeah. Seriously guys.

This was absolutely amazing. I could have eaten it all day long. And I saved it and noshed off it each time I opened the fridge when I was helping with dinner. It frosted the cake perfectly. I imagine you can use any jelly or seedless preserves or fruit spread for this – strawberry, apricot, orange, pineapple, cranberry…I seriously can’t want to try a new flavor – for somebody’s birthday at the end of the month, perhaps?

The final verdict: This cake was amazing. It was beautiful, both outside and once cut. The whipped cream was the most pale pink with flecks of real fruit. It cut perfectly. And the taste. Definitely above and beyond anything we’d ever made before. It tasted like a really professional wedding cake. My dad really liked it. My mom loved it and went back for seconds and thirds and finished it the next day. I’m definitely making this again. The almond cake was a little eggy by itself, but once all assembled, was very almondy and delicious, and the next day was super amazingly moist from the syrup. It’s a very light, fluffy cake that will blow everyone out of the water when they taste it. Get this book. Make this cake.

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2 Responses to “Almond Chiffon Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting”

  1. rose Beranbaum January 23, 2010 at 3:50 am #

    wow–this is fantastic. impossible to believe you never whipped egg whites before. you are a natural!

    • katiecupcakes January 28, 2010 at 4:59 am #

      Mmm…easy to create something when the instructions are so meticulously laid out and described! This was easily the most fun cake I’ve ever made, and the quickest disappearing!

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