I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about making this recipe. Truth be told I am not a big fan of chiffon cakes. When I was a child, my favorite aunt always made a yellow cake which everyone in my family always referred to as simply Mazola Oil Cake. I am also not a big fan of yellow cake. I was a most picky eater as a child and I absolutely hated anything that was oily, greasy or had any trace of fat. Well, my aunt made this cake for every occasion, weddings, funerals, birthdays, mothers day, fathers day. You name it and there was a Mazola Oil Cake on the table. I didn’t know anything about baking or food then (other than the few foods I would eat). This cake to me always seemed leaden and when you touched it your hands were always oily and greasy. (What kid doesn’t eat cake with his hands?) I actually hated this cake so much that I would turn down dessert when I saw it being brought to the table. Once I was old enough to know what things were I realized that this was a chiffon cake. So I didn’t like yellow cake and now I didn’t like chiffon cake. As I got older and started studying food and baking on my own it dawned on me that Mazola oil is corn oil. It just seemed so odd to make a cake with corn oil. A few years ago I decided to revisit this cake and got the recipe from my aunt. I dove in and whipped up my very own Mazola Oil Cake and low and behold….I still hated it. All these years later and I still really hate Mazola Oil Cake. I am also still not a big fan of yellow cake. At any rate, enough ranting, on with the baking.
I found this cake to be very easy to make and it seemed mostly to be a matter of assembly. I began by toasting the almonds and then processed them with a little flour as instructed. Then added the rest of the flour and baking powder and processed until well blended.
I then proceeded to whip the egg yolks until they were thick and formed the ribbon. Then I added the oil, water, and flavorings and beat the yolks until they were thick. Then I sprinked on the flour/nut mixture and proceeded to the egg whites.
I whipped the egg whites until they were foamy, then added the cream of tartar and whipped them until soft peaks formed. I then added the sugar and beat them until they formed stiff peaks.
I then added about a third of the whites to the yolk mixture and stirred them in to lighten the batter and prepare it to receive the rest of the beaten whites. I added the remaining whites in two additions and folded them into the batter gently to maintain as much structure as possible.
I divided the batter between my two prepared pans and set them in the bottom third of a preheated oven to bake. In my convection oven I baked the layers at 350 degrees for 20 mintes. They tested done at the end of the 20 minutes.
I unmolded the cakes onto cooling racks and inverted them. I allowed them to cool while I made the amaretto syrup. I boiled the sugar and water and then covered the syrup and let it cool. When it was cool I added the amaretto and set it aside. Next I prepared the raspberry cream. I whipped the cream until it formed soft peaks, then added the raspberry jam and whipped the cream until the jam was incorporated.
To assemble the cake I applied the amaretto syrup to the bottom and top of one of the layers and set the layer on a serving plate. Then I spread a layer of the raspberry cream on the layer.
I added syrup to the top and bottom of the second layer and set it on top of the firstlayer. Then I frosted the entire cake with the raspberry cream. I piped a shell border on the top and around the side for decoration and sprinkled some sliced almonds on top. I must admit that this cream was very soft and definitely did not pipe well. I could tell it was soft as I was frosting the cake so I put it back in the refrigerator for an hour to chill, I then rewhipped it and put it in the piping bag. I piped the shell borders but it was still very soft. I managed to get a few pictures before the top shells started sliding off the edge of the cake. Even after being in the refrigerator overnight it was still very soft. Considering how sweet this cream was, I doubt I would make it again.
I was afraid that the almond cake and the amaretto syrup would be just a bit too much for my taste but I found the combination delicious. The wondra flour certainly did produce a very light cake with a tender and moist crumb. I thought the syrup might make the cake soggy but such was not the case. The cake was moist and flavorful without being sticky or soggy. I did however find the raspberry cream to be a bit cloying and too sweet for my taste. I think the next time I would add a thin layer of raspberry jam to the inside layer and just frost the cake with lightly sweetened whipped cream. I will definitely make this cake again. Who knows, this may be the one that changes my mind about chiffon cake.