(this can be done on the day of serving or ahead of time. The pudding will keep, covered in the frdge, for up to 3 days or can be double wrapped and frozen)
Place the dates in a small bowl and add the boiling water and bi-carb. Allow to sit and soften for at least 20 minutes.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
Whisk the egg whites on high until medium peaks form.
Add the puréed dates and continue to whisk.
Add the egg yolks and whisk for 1 minute.
Place the chickpeas in a blender (or use a hand blender) and process until they have broken down.
Add the almond meal, coconut flour, arrowroot, baking powder and spices and blend until combined.
Add the dry mixture to the eggs and stir in until combined (alternatively whisk on low).
Add the fruit mixture to the combined mixture and stir in until combined (alternatively whisk on low).
Take a 2 litre (8 cup capacity) pudding bowl and grease the sides of the bowl.
Place a small piece of baking paper on the bottom of the basin and grease it also.
Pour the mixture into the pudding bowl, smoothing the top for a flat surface.
Place another piece of baking paper on the pudding and screw on the lid.
Place the pudding bowl inside a large saucepan, sitting it on top of a trivet or small plate.
Pour water into the saucepan, ensuring it comes 3/4 of the way up the edge of the pudding bowl.
Bring the water to the boil and simmer on medium/low, with lid on, for 5 hours.
Check the water levels regularly to ensure that they are 3/4 of the way up the edge of the pudding bowl.
After 5 hours remove the pudding bowl from the saucepan and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and run a knife around the edge of the pudding to ensure it can be easily removed.
Invert pudding onto a serving tray.
Brush the pudding with the optional Brandy if desired.
If serving immediately pour the Salted Toffee Sauce (see recipe below) over the top of the pudding, allowing it to drip down the edges of the pudding.
Serve with Brandy Custard (see recipe below) and/or Whipped Coconut Cream.
Pudding can be stored for up to 3 days and then reheated.
Reheat pudding by placing the pudding back into a greased/lined (as above) pudding bowl and simmering in a large saucepan (as above) for 1 hour.
Slices of pudding can be warmed in the microwave.
Pudding can be double wrapped and frozen also