270g (1 ½ cups) deseeded dried dates 1 ¼ cups water 1 teaspoon baking soda 60g (¼ cup) butter, roughly chopped 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract 1 ¼ cups white rice flour 2 teaspoons heaped baking powder 2⁄3 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
Butterscotch Sauce ¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons, firmly packed brown sugar 300ml cream (1 small bottle) 25ml (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) golden syrup 25g butter
Place dates and water in a small saucepan over high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, add bicarbonate of soda and 60g butter,
and remove from the heat. Stir and then set aside for 25 minutes (the butter will melt during this time). Preheat oven to 180 ° Celsius (160 ° Celsius fan-forced). If you are not using a fan-forced oven, adjust the oven rack to the lower half of the oven so the top of the pudding will be in the centre of the oven. Grease a 20cm diameter (top inside measurement) round springform pan and line the base and side with baking paper. Place cooled date mixture in a food processor. Pulse mixture a few times to form a chunky paste. Add eggs and vanilla to date mixture and pulse a couple of times until just combined. Stir flour, baking powder, and 2⁄3 cup, firmly packed brown sugar together in a medium bowl. Use the back of the spoon to break up any lumps of brown sugar (or you can push it through a sieve). Add date mixture to the flour mixture and gently fold the ingredients together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Begin making the sauce (see instructions below) about 10 minutes before the pudding has finished baking. Bake the pudding for about 50-60 minutes, or until it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre. A thin-bladed knife or wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding should come out without any batter attached. Leave pudding in the pan and allow it to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Using a skewer, pierce several deep holes in the pudding. Pour about 125ml (½ cup) of the hot butterscotch sauce over the pudding. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
Butterscotch Sauce Place sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir mixture over medium to medium-high heat until the mixture comes to the simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove sauce from heat and set aside until required