Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. To dry bread, place bread pieces on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until dried.
Meanwhile, for syrup, in a small saucepan combine the water, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until syrup is reduced to 3/4 cup. Using a slotted spoon, remove spices and discard.
In a large bowl toss together dried bread pieces and syrup. Add sliced apples, sliced plantain, raisins, and almonds; toss gently. Transfer mixture to an ungreased 2-quart baking dish.
Bake, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove from oven. If desired, sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm with crema.