1Preheat the oven to 350°F.In a small-medium saucepan,bring the dates to a simmer with 1 1/4 cups water.Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda.It will foam up - make sure you have room.Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
2In a large bowl,beat the butter and sugar together until sandy;add the eggs and vanilla and beat until pale and light.In a small bowl,stir together the flour,baking powder and salt.Add half the dry ingredients and stir (or beat on low) just until combined.Stir in the date mixture and pear,then the remaining dry ingredients,stirring just until blended.
3倒入涂有黄油的外滩或类似形状的平底锅，烤40-45分钟，until deep golden,cracked on top and springy to the touch.Let cool on a wire rack,and invert onto the rack or a plate while still slightly warm.
4To make the sauce,bring the brown sugar,cream and butter to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat,经常搅拌。从火中取出，加入香草或波旁威士忌搅拌。放在一边冷却。
5Serve the cake topped with caramel sauce,with whipped cream or ice cream.