Unsalted butter, to grease, plus 60g chopped and softened
2 cups roughly chopped pitted dried dates
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup caster sugar
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
300ml thickened cream
200g butter, chopped
Preheat oven to 160°C fan-forced (180°C conventional). Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line base and sides with baking paper.
Combine dates and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from heat.
Add bicarb to pan and stir, allowing mixture to expand and foam. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Transfer date mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste forms.
In a large bowl, beat chopped butter and sugar with an electric hand beater until light in colour and mixture resembles wet sand.
Add beaten eggs to butter mixture, in 2 batches, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour.
Add date paste and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Pour batter into prepared tin and smooth surface. Bake for 55 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool for a further 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make butterscotch sauce, combine ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, then bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve warm pudding on a plate with a drizzle of butterscotch sauce, then serve remaining sauce on the side to add as desired.