The day before, put raisins into a small bowl and pour brandy over them.
Cover loosely and let stand overnight. Next day, preheat oven to 350°F Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Dice bread and put it in dish. Add pecans and cheese to the bread and toss. Scatter the raisins over the top, drizzling on any brandy that has not been soaked up by raisins. Pour the sugar into a large heavy saucepan. Warm it over medium heat, stirring to facilitate even heating, until it melts and turns a deep golden brown. Pour in the water, carefully because steam will rise rapidly as water hits the sugar. The mixture will begin to solidify.
Stirring, cook until the mixture is liquid again. Add butter, vanilla, and spices to syrup. Ladle the caramel carefully over bread. Syrup should be about level with tops of the bread. If any bread pcs. are not covered, push them down into the liquid.
Bake 20 to 25 minute until syrup is absorbed and cheese has melted into the pudding.
Beat whipping cream, adding sugar and vanilla. Spoon pudding into serving dishes, and dollop whipped cream on top.