Crushed, round crackers add a salty touch to the chewy, nutty meringue crust of this dessert. Chocolate curls add a sweet topper to the torte.
Butter a 9-inch pie plate; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the crushed crackers, coarsely chopped walnuts, and baking powder. Set the mixture aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Add 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight) and sugar is almost dissolved. Fold into the cracker mixture. Spread in a prepared pie plate.
Bake in a 300 degree F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until top looks very dry. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
In a chilled bowl, combine whipping cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla, if you like. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe over torte. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and chocolate curls. Cover; chill for up to 2 hours before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Prepare recipe as directed, except stir 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder into the cracker crumbs. Top the whipped cream with shaved unsweetened chocolate, along with walnuts.