Preheat oven to 350˚F. and spray the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and line the outside of it with foil.
In the bowl of a mixer, use the whip attachment to beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until foamy; about 30 seconds.
Add ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks are formed; about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
With a mixer, beat the egg yolks on high speed for 2 minutes.
Add 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar and beat on high an additional 4 minutes.
Mix in the extract and melted shortening until well blended.
On low speed, slowly add the flour and mix until incorporated.
By hand with a spatula, fold in the whipped egg whites in 3 additions. You may still see a few white spots, but that’s ok.
Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until it springs back when touched in the center. Allow to cool while preparing the cheesecake. Leave the oven on at 350˚F.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese on med-high speed for 2 minutes.
Add the granulated sugar and blend on high another minute.
On med-low speed, add the corn starch, cinnamon and almond extract and mix well.
Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each one.
Add the heavy cream and blend until incorporated.
Pour over the sponge cake base.
Place the (still foil wrapped) springform pan in a larger pan or deep baking sheet.
Add water to the outer pan until it goes as much as halfway up the side of the springform pan.
Bake for 60-75 minutes or until the center is set and the internal temperature is 160˚ F.
Carefully remove from the oven, careful not to spill or splash the water surrounding the springform pan.
When cool enough to handle, remove the springform pan from the water and remove the foil.
Allow the cheesecake to cool on a wire rack for 4 hours then cover lightly and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare the whipped cream the day the cheesecake will be served.
In the bowl of a mixer with a whip attachment, mix the heavy cream and extracts on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Add the powdered sugar and increase the speed to high and beat until medium peaks form. Do not over mix.
Garnish cheesecake with whipped topping and toasted almonds.