Combine dates and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, stir in bicarbonate of soda and stand for 15 minutes
Whisk together butter, eggs and vanilla. Add sugar, flour, followed by date mixture and pecan nuts and stir well
Pour mixture into a buttered and base-lined 18cm square cake tin. Bake at 160°C for 45-50 minutes or until golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a serving dish
Tips & Hints:
Chilli can be added for a touch of heat or left out completely. If made in advance, pudding and sauce can be re-heated in the microwave, before serving.
Ginger and Chilli Butterscotch Sauce
To make sauce, combine sugar, ginger, chilli, cream, butter and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil stirring continuously. Simmer for 3 minutes
Serve squares of warm date pudding with hot caramel sauce and whipped cream