11⁄4 cups water
11⁄2 cups (250g) pitted dates, finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate soda
125g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsps vanilla essence
2 cups plain flour
3 tsps ground cinnamon
2 tsps baking powder
Vanilla ice-cream, to serve
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
11⁄2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
11⁄2 cups pure cream
75g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 tsp sea salt
Grease a 19cm x 30cm lamington pan. Line base and all sides with baking paper, extending paper 3cm above pan edges.
Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat. Stir in dates and soda. Transfer to a large bowl. Cool for 15 minutes.
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in the small bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Mixture may look curdled at this stage.
Add to date mixture with combined sifted flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Stir until combined. Pour into prepared pan. Smooth over top.
Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Remove from oven. Stand cake in pan.
Meanwhile, make salted caramel sauce. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Gently boil for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Using a skewer, gently pierce all over top of hot cake. Pour over 1 cup of hot sauce. Stand for 10 minutes to soak.
Serve warm cake with ice-cream and remaining sauce.