For the cake
8 ounces (225g/generous 1 cup) chopped dates
½ pint (300ml/1¼ cups) brewed tea
4 ozs. (110g/1 stick) unsalted butter
6 ozs. (170g/scant 1 cup) castor (superfine) sugar
8 ozs. (225g/scant 1½ cups) self-rising flour
1 rounded teaspoon bread soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon Espresso coffee or 2-3 teaspoons instant espresso
Hot toffee sauce
4 ozs. (100g/1 stick) butter
6 ozs. (170g/3/4 cup) dark brown sugar
4 ozs. (110g/generous ½ cup) granulated sugar
10 ozs (285g/3/4 cup) golden syrup
8 fl. ozs. (225 ml/1 cup) heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
8-inch (20.5cm) spring form tin with removable base
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
Soak the dates in hot tea for 15 minutes. Brush the cake tin with oil, flour, then put oiled parchment on the base.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the sifted flour. Add the baking soda, vanilla essence and coffee to the date tea and stir this into the flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan, and cook for 1-1½ hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.
To make the sauce, put the butter, sugars and golden syrup into a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt gently on a low heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat, and gradually stir in the cream and vanilla. Put back on the heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is absolutely smooth.
To serve, pour some hot sauce around the cake and pour some additional sauce over the top. Put the remainder in a sauceboat, and serve with the pudding as well as softly whipped cream.