Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour the sides of an 8-inch springform pan
or an 8 by 8-inch square cake pan
and line the base with parchment or greaseproof paper.
Place the chopped dates and tea in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes to soften the dates, and then remove from the heat, and set aside.
In a large bowl or an electric food mixer
, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar, and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then beat in the mixed spice and vanilla extract. Fold in the date mixture. Sift
in the flour, and bicarbonate of soda, and gently fold in until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake until the top is just firm to the touch and a skewer
inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Let the cake stand in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a serving plate. While the cake is cooking, make the Toffee
To serve: Cut the cake into slices, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a very generous drizzle
of warm toffee sauce over the top!
This can also be served with the Boozy Toffee Sauce, recipe follows, instead of the regular toffee sauce.