Place the dates, water and bread soda into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Using a hand blender, blitz until a coarse consistency is achieved.
In the meantime, in a bowl cream together the butter and sugar using a hand blender until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and sieve in the flour and baking powder. Pour in the milk and add the vanilla essence. Add in the cooled date mixture and combine well.
Pour into a greased and pre-lined baking tray and place in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Four the sauce, place the butter and sugar in a small pan over a high heat, stirring continuously to form a caramel. Pour in the cream and be careful as the liquid will expand. Bring back to the boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat.