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Simmer the water and dates together for approx 10 minutes. Add the zest, juice, vanilla, coffee and bicarbonate of soda and blend.
Cream together the sugar and butter. Mix in the eggs, add the hazelnuts, flour, cherries and cinnamon, then add the date mixture.
Put in a roasting lined with greaseproof paper. Cook at 150o C for 25 minutes until spongy. Leave to cool until ready to serve.
For the banana fudge – boil the sugar and water together until golden brown, then add the cream and whisk in the butter and banana.
When ready to serve the pudding, cut the sponge in small rounds, reheat on the hot oven for about 2-3 minutes and then pour over the sauce. Serve with cherry ice cream and hazelnuts.
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