2.Combine dates and juice in small bowl, cover, stand 20 minutes.
3.Melt butter with treacle in small saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in soda, transfer mixture to medium bowl. Stir in sifted flour and spice, then combined milk and egg, in two batches. Stir in date mixture.
4.Spread mixture into steamer. Cover with pleated baking paper and foil, secure with lid.
5.Place pudding steamer in large saucepan with enough boiling water to come halfway up side of steamer, cover pan with tight-fitting lid. Boil 1 hour, replenishing with boiling water as necessary to maintain water level. Remove pudding, stand 5 minutes before turning onto a plate.
6.Meanwhile, make orange syrup. Combine ingredients in small saucepan, stir over medium heat until smooth. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes.
7.Serve pudding with orange syrup.
The pudding is at its best made on the day and served hot. The big day wouldn’t be complete without a pudding of some sort. If there’s a large crowd, especially where you have a range of different age groups, it’s a good idea to serve both a hot pudding – either traditional, or one of the quirky modern pudding recipes in this chapter – with a lovely sauce, as well as a cold dessert. Make life easier for yourself by choosing a recipe that can be made well ahead of the big day.