"Pudding" is a generic term for all British deserts. This is a lovely light cake with a toffee sauce topped by whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pitted dates
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 10-inch round or square baking dish.
Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper.
Chop the dates fine.
Place in a small bowl and add the boiling water and baking soda; set aside.
In a bowl of electric mixer 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.
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 sauce over the pudding. Spread evenly on top. Place pudding under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, about 1 minute.
Serve immediately spooned into dessert bowls.
Drizzle with toffee sauce and top with a spoonful of whipped cream.