1. Soak the dates with the bicarbonate of soda and water for 20 minutes.
  2. Once soaked simmer for 2 minutes and mix until the dates have absorbed the water and a paste is formed. Allow to cool fully. (maybe use 250ml water)
  3. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugars with the butter, don’t worry if its not fluffy so long as they are mixed.
  4. Add the cooled date paste and mix well.
  5. Add the beaten eggs and mix well. Add the flour, baking powder and nutmeg and mix gently until the flour is fully incorporated. Do not over-mix or this will make the pudding a bit stodgy.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and springy to touch.
  7. Take out and place aside.
  8. Leave the oven on at the same temperature.

To make the sauce

Melt the butter, salt and sugars together and bring to the simmer for two minutes, until all the butter is incorporated into the sugars.

Take off the heat and add the cream gradually mixing well with a whisk.

Add the chocolate and mix until fully melted.

Pour half of the sauce over the pudding and pop this back in the oven for 15 minutes.

Put the rest of the sauce in a jug.

Allow the pudding to rest for 5 minutes before serving with a flood of sauce and a scoop of good quality ice cream.