Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
For the pudding, place the dates into a pan with the water, Guinness and bicarbonate of soda.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the dates have softened and broken down. Set aside.
Grease a 28cm x 18cm/11in x 7in baking tin.
Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat together until combined.
Add the eggs and beat into the butter and sugar.
Add the flour and vanilla extract and mix well.
Carefully fold the Guinnes and date mixture into the egg and flour mixture until well combined. Transfer the pudding mixture into the greased tin and place into the oven to cook for 40 minutes, or until risen and cooked through.
Meanwhile, for the sauce, place the cream, butter, sugar and Guinness into a pan over a medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil.
Add the blackcurrant liqueur and mix well.
To serve, place slices of the pudding onto plates. Drizzle over the sauce and serve with spoonfuls of lightly whipped cream.
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