Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease 20cm x 30cm rectangular baking dish.
Bring water and dates to the boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the bicarb soda. Cool.
Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the flour and the date mixture. Pour into dish; bake for 40 minutes.
For the butterscotch sauce: combine the sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan; stir over a medium until smooth. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
My family and friends loved this! It was so easy to make - and I'm timid about baking for others. It turned out so moist and there was plenty left over for the next day. I give it a 20 out of 10!!! - 06 Apr 2013