For the pudding:
- 250 g pitted dates, roughly chopped
- 450 ml water
- 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 160 g butter
- 250 g caster sugar
- 3 free-range or organic eggs
- 250 g plain flour, sifted
For the caramel sauce:
- 250 ml cream
- 125 g brown sugar
- 50 g butter
- Vanilla bean ice cream, to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease six ovenproof ramekins or line a six-hole muffin tin with baking paper.
For the pudding, place the dates with the water in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil. Remove from heat, stir in the bicarbonate of soda. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in the flour, stir in the dates with their liquid, pour the mixture into the tin/moulds.
Cook for 45 minutes or until the top of the pudding springs back when lightly touched.
For the caramel sauce, melt the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until combined and the sugar has dissolved. Add the cream slowly, stirring gently. Bring the sauce to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
To serve, unmould the puddings. Pour the sauce over the top. Serve while
still warm with vanilla bean ice cream.