2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup Pepsi
2 cups fresh, pitted, Medjool dates
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup plus 2 tbs packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 tbs whole milk
1 tbs kahlua
1/4 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
for the soaking liquid/sauce:
1 1/4 cups butter
1 2/3 cups whipping cream
1 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 tbs kahlua
Preheat oven to 350F and butter 15 4-oz ramekins or line 24 muffin cups with silicone liners. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Into a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and spices. Set aside.
Bring the Pepsi, plus 1/3 cup water, to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add dates, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 7 minutes, until tender. Add 1 tbs water to the baking soda and stir into the dates (mixture will foam and darken). Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce to low and add eggs, incorporating one completely before adding the next. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Add milk, kahlua and chopped chocolate, mixing until just combined.
Remove dates from liquid (reserving liquid) and chop. Return to liquid and let sit a few minutes before stirring into batter. Spoon batter into ramekins, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Let cool.
For the sauce:
In a medium pot over medium heat, combine butter, cream and brown sugar. Boil for 1 minute, then add kahlua. Set aside.
To assemble the puddings, when puddings are cooled and still in their ramekins, slice off and discard tops. Using a wooden skewer, poke full of holes. Spoon about 3 tbs of hot toffee sauce over each pudding, pressing gently to help them absorb the liquid. Reserve remaining sauce for serving. Let puddings sit for one hour or overnight.
To serve, gently warm puddings in a 350F oven for about 5 minutes. Release around edges with a knife and turn out onto serving plate. Reheat the sauce and drizzle over pudding. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream.
Note: To store, tightly wrap unsoaked puddings, and freeze for up to 2 weeks.