Preheat the oven to 180º C. Grease a large (22cm x 35cm) oven-proof baking dish. Place the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the dates and stir through. Set aside for at least 10 minutes for the dates to soften and cool. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, demerara sugar and treacle syrup. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt. Beat on a low speed to combine. Fold through the soaked dates and pecan nuts. Spoon into the prepared dish and bake for about 50-55 minutes. Before removing from the oven, always check with a skewer for doneness.In the meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the butter, granulated sugar, water, cinnamon sticks and vanilla seeds and pod in a small saucepan. Bring up to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Remove from the heat and add a pinch of salt and the brandy.Pour the hot syrup over the tart as soon as it comes out of the oven. Serve the brandy pudding warm with softly whipped cream, custard or vanilla bean ice cream.Serves 16-20.Recipe reprinted with permission of Bibby's Kitchen@36. To see more recipes, please click here. To receive quick and convenient weekday recipes, join our Easy Weekday Meals mailing list, and for up-to-date trending food, restaurant and wine news subscribe to our Editor’s Weekly newsletter.
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