200g chopped dates
1 cup water
1 teaspoon bicarb. soda
2/3 caup caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup cream
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
Combine dates and water in a large saucepan and bring tp the boil. Remove from heat and stir in soda and cool.
(The mixture should 'foam'.)
Beat butter, vanilla and sugar untill creamy. Add beaten eggs and beat trough.
Fold the butter and suagr mixture into the dates, then fold in flour. Mix gently to combine.
Pour the mixture into a greased tin (a glass casserole dish works well, or you can make mini individual puddings in a muffin pan), and bake in the oven for 45 mins or until done. The pudding will go a deep brown colour on top and should be firm to the touch in the centre.
To make the sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a sauepan and heat gently until melted. Bring the mixture tot he boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
To serve: The pudding can be made a day ahead of time and the sauce made fresh, in which case, the hot sauce will warm the pudding.
Cut the pudding into portions and put on a serving plate. Pour over the hot sauce, and levae to stand for a minute before serving.
I like to serve the puddings with double cream and a jug of extra sauce on the table.