It's no secret that one of my favourite ice-creams is rum and raisin ice-cream. This tastes just like the ice-cream, only with some additional chocolate. The cake is lovely and moist, and the filling almost resembles ice-cream, especially if you serve it well-chilled.
There is plenty of vanilla rum cream to fill and frost the entire cake, so if you prefer your cakes with less frosting, simply make half of it. Although it's a really small cake, it's very rich, and there is enough for six servings. If you want to make a regular-sized cake, just double the ingredient amounts.
For the cake
250 grams plain flour
200 grams granulated sugar
50 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
250 ml cold water
250 ml oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
For the vanilla rum cream
250 ml whole milk
3 ½ tablespoons plain flour
250 grams butter, softened
200 grams icing sugar
100 grams raisins
1-2 tablespoons dark rum
To make the chocolate cake layers, sift the flour and the cocoa powder into a large bowl, Add the sugar and whisk it really well. In a separate bowl, mix the water, oil, and the vanilla bean paste. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ones, and blend with a whisk, until combined. Take three small cake pans with removable bottoms (10 cm; 4"), grease and flour them well, pour in the batter, and bake them in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F), for about 15-20 minutes. Be very careful with the baking time, because they will be dry and crumbly if your overbake them. Once they are done, let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack, and let them cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the creamy filling. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sift in the flour, and whisk until completely dissolved. Put the saucepan over medium heat, and let the milk come to a boil. Cook it, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes or so, until smooth and thickened. Remove the base from the heat, and let it cool down almost completely. If it's not completely cold, it makes it easier to blend with the rest of the ingredients.
Place the raisins in a small bowl, pour over hot water, and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Take a large bowl, add the softened butter, and beat it with an electric mixer on high, for about 2-3 minutes, until lighter in colour and creamy. Sift in the icing sugar, and proceed to blend on high, for another 2-3 minutes. Start adding the cooked and cooled base, a tablespoon at a time, beating constantly on high. Once the filling is smooth, drain the raisins very well, then pat them dry with a paper towel, and mince them. Add them to the filling, along with the rum. Blend once again for a few minutes, then take out about a quarter of the filling, and divide the rest in half.
To assemble the cake, place the first cake layer on a small cake platter, pipe on half of the filling, then place another cake layer on top. Pipe on the rest of the filling, and top the cake with the final cake layer. At this point the cake will be rather tall, so gently frost the entire cake with the reserved frosting. Place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably over night. Yields 6 servings.