Sticky Date Pudding
275g dried pitted dates
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g butter, at room temperature
275g caster sugar
3 large eggs
275g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
Vanilla ice-cream, to serve
160g brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180Â°C. Bring the dates and water to the boil in a small saucepan. Mix in the bicarbonate of soda. Let cool.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour. Add the date mixture and the vanilla essence, and mix well. Pour into a large, rectangular ceramic baking dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
3. To Make Sauce: Put the sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Mix until well combined and smooth. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cool slightly.
4. Pour the sauce over the pudding. Return to the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.