Melt in a double boiler, chocolate and shortening in boiling water, stirring constantly until glossy. Put into refrigerator until cool.
Beat together sugar and eggs and add to cooled chocolate mixture.
Sift together flour, salt, soda and add to mixture. Beat thoroughly. Add buttermilk and vanilla and blend well. Pour into 2 9-in. pans. Cover batter with crunch topping and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then remove and cool on racks, crunch side up. When cake is cold, beat 1 c. whipping cream and 4 tbsp. sugar until stiff.
Spread between layers and around sides of cake but not on top.
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. melted butter
6 ox. pkg. chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped nuts
Combine the above ingredients and sprinkle over batter before baking.