"This is something to eat if you can afford to forget about calories for a night. Did you ever notice how the best tasting foods are the most unhealthy? This is the perfect torte for family reunions or barbecues."
Heat milk in pan over low heat until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat. In bowl, mix sugar and cornstarch, and add a little hot milk to make a paste. Incorporate beaten eggs into mixture. Add to hot milk, then return to stove top and cook over low heat until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. If desired, cool filling, then mix in banana slices, crushed pineapple, or other trigger-tripper.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and 3/4 cup sugar. Add beaten egg yolks and mix to incorporate. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Alternately add dry mixture and milk to butter mixture, until combined. Divide mixture between two cake pans. In small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Slowly add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, beating to incorporate. Mix in vanilla. Divide egg white mixture between pans, pouring over cake batter. Cover with almonds, coconut or walnut pieces. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned. Meanwhile, prepare cream filling. When cake is cool, place 1 cake layer, meringue side down, on plate. Spread cream filling over top. Assemble torte by placing second layer over filling, meringue side up. Note: Use remaining filling for another use.