Pudding: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter or spray, with
a non stick vegetable spray, an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan.
In a heatproof bowl place the
finely chopped dates and baking soda. Pour the
boiling water over the dates and stir to combine. Let sit at room temperature
for about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another bowl
whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of
your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft and
creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the
sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and beat until
incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Then add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Fold in the dates, along
with their liquid. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with
the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bake for about 25
minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out
clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Then
with a wooden skewer or toothpick poke holes over the entire surface of the cake.
Pour about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the hot toffee sauce evenly over the top of the cake.
While the cake is baking, place all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.
Place over medium heat, and stirring constantly, heat until the butter melts and
the sugar has dissolved. (Note: If you like lots of toffee sauce, you can
double the recipe.)
Serve the cake warm from the oven with the remaining toffee sauce. If desired,
sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts and serve with whipped cream or vanilla
ice cream. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator and simply reheated.
Makes about 8 servings.
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