Lay the bread on a flat work surface. Spread 4 slices with a heaping tablespoon of cream cheese, and top each with the remaining slices of bread.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Place the bread flat in a casserole dish and cover with the egg mixture. Let soak* for 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pan. Add as many slices of soaked bread to the pan as will fit in 1 layer, and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.
Remove from the pan, place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan and cook the remaining bread.
Sprinkle the French toast with powdered sugar and serve immediately with syrup.
NOTE: If using fresh bread, do not soak longer than 5 minutes, as the bread will get too soggy.
In food processor, add cookie crumbs and grind into fine crumbs. Add butter and blend until smooth. Press crust into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Chill while preparing filling.
In large bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add white and brown sugars and mix well.
Add sour cream and ricotta and blend well. Add eggs one at a time and beat until mixture is smooth.
Add melted chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend until mixture is very smooth. Pour mixture into springform pan.
Bake approximately 1 hour. Turn off oven and crack door about 1inch. Leave cake in oven for 1 hour then remove and cool to room temperature.
In small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat and stir until smooth. Add pecans and stir until coated. Pour glaze over top of cheesecake and smooth to edges. Let some run over edges if you like. Chill until firm and cut into wedges to serve.