- Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan. Butter and flour the pudding basins, tapping out any excess flour, then set aside.
- Place the figs in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and 200ml boiling water. Stir well and set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat the eggs with the vanilla and pour on to the butter and sugar mixture, beating continuously. Don't be alarmed if the mixture looks curdled at this stage.
- Add the flour and beat well, then pour in the figs, walnuts and all the liquid. Mix well. Divide the mixture between the pudding basins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until well risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning out on to plates.
- To make the sauce, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour a couple of spoonfuls over each pudding and serve the rest in a warmed jug. Add a scoop of ice cream.