I have heard of this pudding for years and have hesitated to make it because dates are in it. I like dates alone, but haven't been willing to try them in baking. I decided to make this for Christmas this year and fell in love. It is so easy to make and so delicious. I hope you don't wait as long as I did to try this.
I got this recipe from the Food Network. I made a couple of changes based on the comments on the Food Network website.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round or square baking dish. (I used a 10-inch springform pan.)
Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper. Chop the dates fine and place in a small bowl and add the boiling water and baking soda. Set aside.
In a bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the date mixture to the batter and fold until blended with a rubber spatula.
Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until pudding is set and firm on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack.
Toffee Sauce: Combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil gently over medium low heat until mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the suace over the pudding. Spread evenly on top. Place pudding under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Serve immediately. Drizzle with toffee sauce and top with a spoonful of whipped cream.