Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a shallow baking dish. Set aside.
Toss bread cubes with the melted butter and place half of them in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans or cherries. Top with remaining buttered bread cubes.
In a large bowl whisk eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, almond essence and salt. Heat milk and coffee liqueur in a small saucepan then whisk into egg mixture. Pour mixture over bread. Press gently to moisten the bread cubes. Let stand 30 minutes.
Press bread cubes down again. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle mixture over pudding.
Caramel Sauce: In a saucepan bring brown sugar, butter and golden syrup to a boil. Stir until smooth. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over moistened bread cubes.
To Cook: Place baking dish in a larger baking dish. Pour some boiling water in the large baking dish halfway up the side of the smaller baking dish.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.