For the pudding: Put dates and water in saucepan and bring it to the boil. Once it starts to boil add the bicarb and lower the heat (be careful that it doesn't boil over). Simmer for a few seconds and then remove it from the heat.
Cream the butter and sugar in a blender or food processor adding eggs one at a time to get a smooth consistency. Add the vanilla.
Pour in the date mixture and puree slightly before adding the flour and processing for around 20 seconds.
Grease a 1.5 litre pudding bowl and pour the mixture into the bowl. Cover the pudding with a greased piece of greaseproof paper or foil.
Put the bowl inside a covered steamer for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Butterscotch Sauce: About 30 minutes before the pudding is finished put brown sugar, butter, cream and vanilla in a saucepan and stir gently at a very low heat until smooth (be careful not to beat it or it will candy and don't boil it or it will curdle).
Serve the warm pudding with the warm butterscotch sauce over top. Enjoy!