4 hours resting time
- In a medium bowl, mix the dates and baking soda. Pour 1 ¼ cups of boiling water over the dates and stir to mix. Let the dates soak for 4 hours.
- Generously brush the inside of a 2-quart Curtis Stone Hot and Steamy Pudding Cake Mould with butter and refrigerate.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to blend.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and 6 tbsp of butter on medium speed, scraping down the sides as needed, for about 2 minutes, or until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until blended.
- Reduce the speed to low, mix in the flour mixture and then the date mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared mould. Place the lid on the mould and turn to the locked position.
- Place a small heatproof ramekin on the bottom of a tall pot. Place the mould on the ramekin. Pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the mould. Cover the pot and steam the pudding over medium-low heat for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back gently when pressed.
- Using the lid handle and a kitchen towel, carefully lift the mould from the pot and set it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the lid. Invert the cake onto a cake plate.
- In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the cream, ¾ cup of milk, sugar, butter, and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half and has a deep tan colour.
- Whisk in the remaining milk and remove from the heat.
- Serve the pudding warm with the toffee sauce.
The toffee sauce can be made up to two days ahead covered and refrigerated. Rewarm before serving.
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