Place the dates and water in a food processor and pulse to chop finely.
In a mixer with a paddle attachment add 4 tablespoons of butter and the sugar. Run on first setting to cream. Crack one egg at a time into the butter mixture with mixer running to incorporate. Now add the date mixture from the food processor and vanilla extract with mixer running on low. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add this to the mixer while it is running on low.
Rub remaining butter on baking dish then dust with flour to prevent cake from sticking. Pour batter into pan and heat oven to 350° and bake for 30-45 minutes until the middle is firm to the touch. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for an hour.
For the sauce and six tablespoons of butter and six tablespoons of brown sugar in a sauté pan over medium heat. Whisk while cooking until sugar has completely melted. Pour in rum and simmer for 1-2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Now add heavy cream to the pan and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Portion a piece of the pudding on plate top with a scoop of ice cream and then finish with a drizzle of the sauce.
8 scoops ea Nature's Best Dairy® Ice Cream, Vanilla, for service