Hello, Good News! If you’re looking for a simple and tasty dessert that will impress your guests, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a Ritz Torte, an Appalachian classic that uses Ritz crackers, pecans, and whipped topping to create a heavenly treat.
A Ritz Torte is a type of cake that has a crunchy and nutty base, topped with a creamy and fluffy layer of whipped cream. It’s also known as Ritz Tort or Ritz Cracker Torte, depending on the spelling preference. This dessert is popular in the Appalachian region of the United States, where it originated as a way to use up leftover crackers and nuts. It’s easy to make, requires no special equipment, and can be customized with different toppings and flavors.
What You Need to Make a Ritz Torte
To make a Ritz Torte, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup of sugar
- 26 Ritz crackers (two small sleeves)
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tub of whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
- Chocolate shavings or sprinkles (optional)
You’ll also need an 8×8 inch baking pan, a mixer, a plastic bag, a rolling pin, a spatula, and a grater.
How to Make a Ritz Torte Step by Step
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the pan
Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and spray some oil on your baking pan. You can also line the pan with parchment paper for easier removal.
Step 2: Beat the egg whites and sugar
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Step 3: Crush the crackers and mix with the nuts
Put the Ritz crackers in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs. Add the chopped pecans, baking powder, and vanilla extract to the bag and shake well to combine.
Step 4: Fold the cracker mixture into the egg mixture
Gently fold the cracker mixture into the egg mixture with a spatula until well incorporated. Be careful not to overmix or deflate the batter.
Step 5: Bake the torte for 25 to 30 minutes
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a spatula. Bake the torte for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and firm on the edges. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before adding the topping.
Step 6: Spread the whipped topping and garnish with chocolate
Once the torte is cooled, spread the whipped topping over it with a spatula. You can use as much or as little as you like. Sprinkle some chocolate shavings or sprinkles on top for extra flavor and decoration. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Variations and Tips for Making a Ritz Torte
A Ritz Torte is a versatile dessert that can be adapted to your preferences and occasions. Here are some ideas and tips for making it even more delicious:
- You can use different types of nuts instead of pecans, such as walnuts, almonds, or pistachios.
- You can add some cinnamon, nutmeg, or lemon zest to the cracker mixture for extra flavor.
- You can use different types of whipped topping instead of Cool Whip, such as whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, or mascarpone cheese.
- You can use different types of chocolate instead of shavings or sprinkles, such as chocolate chips, chunks, or drizzles.
- You can add some fresh fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, or bananas, on top of the whipped topping for a refreshing touch.
- You can make mini Ritz Tortes by using muffin tins instead of an 8×8 inch pan. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.
- You can store the Ritz Torte in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge before serving.
A Comparison Table of Ritz Torte and Other Similar Desserts
|Ritz Torte||Ritz crackers, pecans, egg whites, sugar, whipped topping, chocolate||Appalachia, USA||A crunchy and nutty base topped with a creamy and fluffy layer of whipped cream and chocolate|
|Graham Cracker Cake||Graham crackers, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, baking powder, vanilla, whipped cream, fruit||USA||A moist and tender cake made with graham cracker crumbs and layered with whipped cream and fruit|
|Salted Crackers Cake||Salted crackers, butter, brown sugar, chocolate chips, nuts||USA||A crispy and chewy cake made with salted crackers and caramelized with butter and brown sugar, topped with melted chocolate and nuts|
|Biscuit Cake||Digestive biscuits, butter, golden syrup, cocoa powder, chocolate, nuts, raisins||UK||A rich and decadent cake made with crushed biscuits and chocolate mixture, studded with nuts and raisins|
|Torta de Galletas||Marie biscuits, condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, whipped cream, fruit||Mexico||A light and refreshing cake made with layers of Marie biscuits soaked in a milky custard and topped with whipped cream and fruit|