In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. When the rice has cooked, drain any excess water, then spread on a plate to cool.
Whip the cream until stiff. Stir in the cooled rice, dates, and powdered sugar. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water, then set over a pot of boiling water until dissolved. Stir into rice mixture along with the vanilla.
Place bowl into the refrigerator, and chill until the mixture begins to thicken. Once the rice no longer settles to the bottom, rinse a mold to moisten the inside, then pour in the rice mixture. Chill until set, about 3 hours. Unmold and serve when very cold.