Often imitated, never bettered.
Cream the butter and sugar. Boil the dates in the water until soft and add the bicarbonate of soda. Beat the eggs into the creamed mixture, then fold in the flour, dates and liquid and the vanilla essence. Pour into a deep greased cake tin or soufflé dish, or individual pudding basins, cover loosely with foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, less time for smaller individual puddings. While the pudding is baking, boil together the cream, sugar and treacle until you have a nice golden caramel sauce. When cooked, turn the pudding out and pour the sauce over the top.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.