Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and lightly flour a 10” x 7” (1.4L) baking dish; set aside.
Pit the dates and place into a medium sized pot. Add water and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Add the tea bags to the liquid and steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Let the mixture cool and remove the tea bags before placing into a blender. Purée the date mixture until smooth; set aside to cool.
In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and demerara sugar until light and fluffy. Add in one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. (Note: the batter will look curdled). Add the molasses and cooled date mixture, mix to combine.
Incorporate the flour mixture into the date mixture a quarter at a time. Do not overmix the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 45 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
While the pudding is in the oven, prepare the salted caramel sauce. Over medium-high heat, combine butter, demerara sugar, cream, and salt into a small pot. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Lower the heat and add the optional bourbon, stir for 5 mins. Remove from heat and allow the caramel to cool before serving.
Remove the pudding from the oven. Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the top of the pudding. Pour about a third of the salted caramel sauce over the top of the pudding. Let the pudding cool just a bit before serving.
Serve the warm pudding with a generous drizzle of salted caramel sauce, a dollop (or more) of whip cream, and a sprinkling of fleur de salt.
Recipe from https://emicooks.com/sticky-toffee-pudding-with-bourbon-salted-caramel-sauce/