For pudding: Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter and flour an 8x6x2-inch baking dish or casserole.
In a bowl, combine sugar, butter, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat on low until well mixed and creamy in color. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Fold flour into mixture.
Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, add dates, return to boiling, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda (adding it when mixture is on heat will cause it to rush over top of pan). Add dates and water to batter and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For sauce: In a saucepan, combine sugars, butter, and corn syrup and gently bring to a boil. When it starts to bubble, add cream and return to boiling. Make sure sugars are melted. Keep sauce warm.
Drizzle sauce over pudding. Serve slices drizzled with more sauce. Top with whipped cream (if using).
How toMake Scone Flour
Sift together 1 pound all-purpose flour with ⅛ cup baking powder.