Sticky Date Pudding

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Peter Valder made sticky date pudding, an old-fashioned dessert which is still very popular today.

200g dates, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
150ml boiling water
125g butter
125g sugar
2 eggs
125g self-raising flour

1. Put the dates in a bowl with the baking soda. Pour over the boiling water, stir and let stand for 20 minutes.
2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, then the date mixture.
3. Pour into a well-greased flan dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 190°C (test with a skewer to make sure it is done.)
4. While the pudding is cooking, make the sauce (see recipe below).
5. When the pudding is ready, remove from the oven and coat the top lightly with enough sauce to produce a sticky glaze. Return to the oven for 2 minutes.
6. To serve, cut into slices, pour additional sauce over each serving, and accompany with whipped cream or ice cream.

200g brown sugar
50g butter
1 cup (250ml) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 1-2 minutes.