Cream together very thoroughly the shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition until light and fluffy. Beat in chocolate which has been slightly cooled.
Measure sifted flour and sift together with soda and salt. Alternately add sifted dry ingredients and iced water to chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. After each addition, beat until batter is smooth.
Pour batter into 3 greased 8-inch layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes, or until done. Cool and spread date cream filling between the layers and chocolate fudge frosting over top and sides.
Date Cream Filling:.
Heat milk and 1/2 pound chopped dates in top of double boiler.
Combine sugar, flour and egg, blending until smooth. Slowly stir into hot milk mixture.
Cook and stir until mixture is thickened. Cool then stir in nuts and vanilla.
Makes 2 cups.
Fudge Frosting (the original 1959 version):.
Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Boil over high heat 3 minutes without stirring. Reduce heat and continue cooking until it reaches soft-ball stage (238 degrees). Cool.
Beat until creamy and of spreading consistency. Add cream if too thick.
Combine sugar, salt, cream, corn syrup and chocolate. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover saucepan for 2-3 minutes. Remove lid and cook to the soft-ball stage (234 degrees). Cool.
Beat until spreading consistency. Add a little hot water if too stiff, sifted confectioners sugar if too thin.