I know Christmas seems so far away as of this moment in time, and Halloween is literally right around the corner, but I bring this recipe to you today to plant the seed for your Christmas baking! One can never be too prepared, and having everything organized before December will ensure that your holiday will go smoothly, and you’ll actually be able to ENJOY YOURSELF during the season. What a concept, eh?
Christmas is my second favorite season just because of the baking. It can’t compete with Halloween, but I digress. One of my absolute favorite desserts for Christmas-time is my Aunt’s Double Decker Torte. It’s probably the ONE recipe that I haven’t messed with because it’s just so good…. UNTIL NOW! Let’s face it – it was bound to happen eventually.
I’ve really been on a spicy kick lately, with everything edible and drinkable. I can’t pass up a spicy craft brew, or resist putting hot sauce in my scrambled eggs. Desserts have been no exception. So, to kick up this bombastic original preparation, I decided to go with spicy raspberry preserves as the jam component. I used three fresh red jalapeños (sans seeds), and mixed them with 10 ounces of raspberry preserves. I found it only slightly spicy, so you can add more or less for your tastes. The spice in those peppers can be fickle!
Nuts are also no stranger to my Christmas baking – Pecan Tassies, thumbprint cookies rolled in walnuts, butterballs… To switch gears a bit I decided to go with raw pepitas! They lend an earthy grassy flavor to this bar that compliments the great sweetness of the raspberry preserves.
Last, but not least, the crust for this beauty is really the star. Cacique® Crema Mexicana Agria comes to the rescue! This cultured Grade A sour cream lends a beautiful creamy texture, and slightly tart flavor, that gives this spicy, sweet treat a depth of flavor like none other. Start your Christmas planning now, and put this Spicy Raspberry Double Decker Torte at the top of your list!
- For The Crust
- 2 ½ Cups Flour, sifted beforehand
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¼ Cup Cold Butter cut into small cubes
- ¼ Cup Vegetable Shortening
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- ½ Cup Cacique® Crema Mexicana Agria
- For The Fillings
- 1 ½ Cups Ground Raw Pepitas
- ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 13 Ounces Raspberry Preserves
- 3 Red Jalapeños, seeded and chopped very fine
- For The Topping
- 1 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
- ½ Cup Ground Raw Pepitas
- Special Equipment:
- 11” x 17” x 1” Jelly Roll Pan
- Fluted Pastry Cutter
- Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, and baking powder in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add in the butter and vegetable shortening, and pulse 10 times, or until well combined, but not over-mixed. The mixture should resemble coarse sand with pebbles of butter or shortening no bigger than the size of a pea. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the egg yolks, vanilla, and Cacique Crema Mexicana Agria.
- Pour the crema mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula, until able to handle with your hands. Turn onto a floured surface, and finish mixing the dough together just until it holds.
- Divide dough into three balls, making one of the balls slightly larger than the other two. Flatten into disks, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
- While the dough chills, mix the raw pepitas and granulated sugar in a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. Also combine the raspberry preserves in a different small bowl, and mix with the finely diced red jalapeños. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- When the dough is chilled, take out the large disk, and roll on a floured surface until it’s about 1/8” thick or can mostly cover the jelly roll pan. The dough needs to cover the bottom and sides of the pan completely, but it doesn’t have to be perfect either. If some dough rips, or the roll-out didn’t cover the bottom and sides completely, gently press dough scraps together.
- Pour the reserved pepitas/sugar mixture in the bottom of the torte, and spread in an even layer.
- Roll out the second disk of dough on a floured surface, and gently cover the nut layer. As with the bottom layer, if you don’t cover it completely, use the scraps from cutting the dough to the form of the pan, and gently press into place, so that all the nuts are covered. No need to go up the sides of the pan with this layer.
- Carefully pour the spicy raspberry preserves on the second dough layer, and spread gently to cover the whole area. Take your time with this step, as the dough can lift up as you spread. Take your time and be as gentle as you can.
- Roll out the last disk on a floured surface, and with a fluted pastry cutter (a pizza cutter will also work), cut ½ inch thick strips.
- Diagonally lay the strips onto the raspberry preserves, cutting off any excess dough at the edge, spacing them about an inch apart. Repeat this process going the other way, laying the second set of strips perpendicular to the first, creating a lattice crust. It is not necessary to weave them in and out of each other, nor do you have to make the strips perfect, as we will cover them with a glaze. As before, if one strip breaks, just overlap it with another strip, and it should be fine.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool for about 30 minutes.
- Mix the powdered sugar and milk together, and drizzle over the top of the torte, making sure it’s even, and goes out to all the edges.
- Sprinkle with ground pepitas, and let cool for an additional 30 minutes.
*Disclaimer:This is a sponsored post by Cacique®, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Their cremas rock, and aren’t just for dollops!