4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
To prepare cake, combine dates, boiling water and baking soda in a bowl. Let stand 30 minutes or until lukewarm.
Combine sugar and butter and beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Gently fold flour mixture and softened dates (including soaking water) into egg mixture just until blended. Pour into prepared pan, smoothing top. Place on a shallow baking pan and bake about 45 minutes, until top is puffed and slightly firm to the touch in the center. (Center may fall slightly after baking.)
Let cake cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Run a knife along the inside of the pan to release cake. Carefully remove side of pan.
To prepare sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, without stirring. (Makes 1 2/3 cups sauce.)
To serve, slice cake into 12 wedges. Spoon about 2 tablespoons warm sauce on top of each piece. Serve with vanilla ice cream.