Make the cake. Cream butter and sugr together. Chop the dates. Boil them in the water for 10 minutes, with lid off the saucepan, or until soft, then add the baking soda. Beat the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture, followed by the flour, dates/water, and a few drops of vanilla. Pour into loaf pan, with buttereed greaseproof paper in the base. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
For the sauce: Combine butter, rum, and brown sugar in a saucepan and melt together. Once melted, bubble until the sauce starts to thicken a little. Take off the heat and mix in cream.
Can be made in advanced and frozen. re-heat prior to srving. Serve slices of the cake with the hot sauce poured over and either vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to accompany.
Not a NESTLÉ®-tested recipe.