In a bowl filled with warm water, soak the dates for 5 minutes. Drain well.
In a small food processor, purée the dates, cream and almond butter until smooth. Set aside.
Butter a 11 x 8-inch (27 x 20 cm) rectangular baking pan.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar and cinnamon. Add the bread and mix thoroughly so that the bread soaks in the milk. Add the almonds. Spoon the bread mixture into the prepared pan.
Spread the date and almond butter mixture lengthwise over the bread pudding into 3 lines. With a spoon, return every other cube of bread, so as to create a checkerboard pattern. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate and let soak for 4 hours or overnight.
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the pudding is golden brown and firm in the centre. Let cool. Cover and freeze at this stage, if desired, or serve with Almond Cream Sauce (see recipe).