Sticky Date Pudding

This is such a naughty. but deeeliiciciouusss treat! I made this and it was the sweetest thing ever - so if you have a sweet tooth, this is absolutely the recipe for you! 

Makes: Roughly 8
1 Cup pitted dates
300ml Orange Juice
1 Tsp Bi-carb soda
1 and 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
200g Unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs. lights beaten
1 1/3 Cup self-raising flour
1/2 Tsp Vanilla essence
1/2 cup heavy cream

pre-heat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius
Using a small pot, over high heat, Bring dates and orange juice to a boil for 3 minutes. Stir in the bi-carb soda and cook for another 2 minutes (This will puff up, so you'll need to be using a deep pot, not a pan) 
Remove from heat and begin to squish the dates using a spoon in the pot, so they become smaller pieces(they should basically fall apart by this point).
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 80g of butter and 3/4 cup of brown sugar together until light and creamy.
Add in eggs and beat until mixed through. Add the date mixture, vanilla essence and then begin to fold in the flour. 
Mix throughly, to ensure that there is no floury bits! 
Using a muffin tin lined with baking cups,  spoon mixture in 3/4 of the way up (they will rise!)
Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until super golden and cooked through. Use a skewer and poke in the middle of the pudding, if it comes out dirty, it needs more time! 
In another small pot, add 1 cup of brown sugar, 125g of butter and 1/3 cup of heavy cream and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 -3 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to thicken for 5 minutes before serving. 
Top the pudding with the cream and the caramel sauce!