Boil together the syrup ingredients for five minutes and pour into a greased dish. Keep warm while you prepare the mixture.
Cream butter and sugar and add egg. Dissolve bicarb in milk and pour over dates and jam. Add to butter mixture and stir well. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Stir well. Put the mixture in the warm syrup using a spoon and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C Serve with custard.