Butter one side of each slice of bread and toast them with the buttered side up. Watch carefully as not to burn.
Stand bread slices upright to cool-- do not stack as they will stick together-- When toast is cool and dry, trim off crusts and cut into triangles.
Arrange in a deep 10 inch cake pan, in a spiral overlapping, with the points up. There will be an empty space in the centre.
Sprinkle with the 2 tbsp sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside.
Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the milk in a saucepot, over medium heat.
Note: If using extract, do not put it in the milk here, scald the milk alone.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, remaining sugar, salt and vanilla extract if been used, until smooth and lemon coloured-- about one minute.
With mixer on low, and in a stream add the scalded milk-- now remove the vanilla bean.
With a ladle pour as much of this custard into the centre of the cake pan, careful not too overflow-- let stand and keep adding more, as its been soaked inches.
Bake in a hot 400°F oven in a hot water bath-- for about 40 minutes until pudding is firm and puffed and golden brown-- Remove and place on a rack to cool.
Sauce-- Put butter in a pot, and pour in the sugar.
DO NOT STIR Over medium heat allow sugar to caramelize slowly--should take 10 minutes or so.
Stir when mixture is a nice brown colour and bubbling.
Continue until its a dark golden brown-- Stir in small amounts of the cream, it will harden up-- but then will go back to a liquid, or a thick syrup-- Strain through a sieve, and keep hot in a warm water bath, until needed.
To serve-- cut the cake into ten portions, as you would a pie-- using a knife and a pie lifter to remove, as not to loose any custard-- Pour some sauce over each.