Make the toffee sauce: put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Once the sauce is bubbling a little stir in the brandy and cook for a minute or two until it is syrupy. Transfer to a small jug.
Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Grease 6 mini pudding moulds with butter and dust with flour shaking off any excess. Alternatively grease a silicone muffin tin.
Place the chopped dates, stem ginger and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Pour the boiling water in the bowl and let it stand for 5 minutes. The soda will bubble a little bit.
Transfer to a Vitamix or food processor and pulse briefly until you have a sticky pulp.
In a stand mixer, whip the butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl and beating again.
Add the eggs and a tablespoon of the flour and beat together until incorporated.
Sift the rest of the flour and all the spices over the bowl and mix them in with a spoon. Fold in the date and ginger pulp and mix it in.
Divide among the moulds filling 2/3 of the way up. Tap the moulds on your countertop then place on a heavy tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the puddings are firm and risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then carefully tap out of the moulds. You may need to level the bottoms so that the stand up straight.
Serve while still warm with plenty of the toffee sauce poured over each pudding. Decorate with a couple of pecans per pudding if you like.