We made this as part of a decadent Christmas Eve breakfast instead of as a dessert. I would probably make it again. The caramel sauce is wonderful in combination with the nuts - reminded me of sticky buns. The dates probably could be just chopped on a cutting board - they were pretty sticky and gloppy by the end. The middle of my cake didn't rise in the oven, even after 60 min. baking, but when served it seemed to be cooked through. Used the correct size pan. Anyone else have this problem?