Boil the dates in the water for about 5 minutes until soft, then add the bicarbonate of soda. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the dates, flour and vanilla essence then pour into the greased baking tin and
To make the sauce, simply place all the ingredients in a pan over a low heat and stir together until blended, then bring to the boil. Some of this can be poured over the sponge and finished under the grill, or it can be kept totally separate and ladled over the sponge when portioned. Good, fresh, thick cream is just right for this pudding.