Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups hot water
3 1/2 pounds/1588 g dates, chopped
1.4 ounces/40 g baking soda
1.1 pounds/500 g sugar
12 ounces /3 sticks/500 g butter, at room temperature
1.35 ounces/40 ml vanilla extract
2 pounds/900 g self-rising flour, sifted
Toffee Sauce, hot, recipe follows
18 ounces light brown sugar
18 ounces muscovado sugar
1 can treacle
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
20 ounces heavy cream
1/2 cup vanilla-infused cheap white rum, optional (could be plain white rum with some vanilla extract added)
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