Soak the raisins in the brandy/ scherry overnight.
Cream the butter and sugar together very well.
Add the eggs, singly, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the sifted dry ingredients and mix well.
Stir in the dates, crumbs, currants, nuts, carrot, syrup, rind and soaked raisins.
Spoon the mixture into a greased 2 litre (8cup) pudding bowl (preferably metal)
Place on a wire rack in a large saucepan and pour in boiling water to reach half way up the sides of the pudding bowel.
Steam for 2 and a 1/2 to 3 hours or until well cooked - remembering to check the water level and refill if necessary.
Allow to stand in the bowl for at least 20mins before removing.
Serve hot with brandy butter or cream.
To re-heat on Christmas Day, steam for 1 hour in the same way as above.
Place a tea towel over the top of the bowl before placing the lid on the saucepan as this absorbs condensation and prevents the pudding from going soggy.