Creole Chocolate Cake

*Creole Chocolate Cake*
Serves 16

A sinfully delicious chocolate cake that you will be unable to resist.  From the McCall's Cooking School of the late 1970's early 80's.

For the cake:
280g plain  flour (2 cups all purpose)
1 tsp baking soda
120g butter (1/2 cup)
120ml salad oil (1/2 cup)
3 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate (broken into squares)
380g sugar (2 cups)
2 large free range eggs, beaten
120ml sour milk (1/2 cup)
240ml water
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
60ml water (1/4 cup)
150g evaporated milk (5.3 ounce tin) (NOT the sweetened condensed)
150g sugar (3/4 cup)
40g seedless raisins chopped (1/4 cup)
125g chopped dates (1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
60g chopped toasted walnuts of pecans (1/2 cup)
You will also need 120ml/1/2 cup of chilled heavy cream

For the frosting:
170g semi sweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
60g sour cream (1/2 cup)
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter two 8 inch cake tins and line the bottoms with paper.  Place the chocolate for the cake, salad oil and butter in a saucepan.  Cook, stirring to melt the chocolate and amalgamate everything. Stir in the water.  Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

To make sour milk, add 1 1/2 tsp of vinegar to a cup and fill with milk to measure. Do this now.

Sift the flour and soda into a bowl.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar, eggs, sour milk and vanilla to combine.  Stir in the chocolate mixture, just to combine and divide between the two cake tins.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  The tops should spring back when lightly touched.  Let cool in the tins for 5 minutes before tipping out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling combine the water, milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Add the raisins and dates. Cook, stirring until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and nuts.  Set aside to cool.

Whip the cream for the filling until stiff peaks form.

Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Spread with the filling. Top with the whipped cream to cover and then place the remaining layer on top.

To make the frosting, melt the chocolate pieces in the top of a double boiler over hot water until smooth. Stir in the sour cream and salt. Beat until smooth and then allow to cool until it is of a spreading consistency.  Spread over the top and sides of the cake.  Chill one hour prior to serving.
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