1. Pre heat oven to 180C ( turn down to 165-170C for fan assisted ovens )
2. Lightly grease and flour a loaf tin.
3. Beat butter and sugar together in a mixer until creamy.
4. Mix together the flour and spice, add to the creamed butter along with the eggs and beat until combined.
5. Add the dates to the saucepan, add boiling water to the tea in a measuring jug or beaker to 270 ml and brew for 2 minutes. Strain the leaves and keep 250 ml of the tea.
6. Add the tea to the dates and simmer for around 4-5 minutes until the dates break up into the mixture. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the mixture it will froth up nicely, now fold into the flour mixture straight away.
7. Pour into the loaf tin, the mixture will be quite runny.
8. Bake for 45 mins or until a knife comes out clean from the loaf.
For the sauce:
- Add the ingredients to a pan, stir and simmer until the sugar has fully dissolved and the sauce is a light toffee colour. Drizzle over the top of the pudding. This recipe freezes really well so why not double the recipe and freeze the second loaf for the festive season.