Combine the milk, cream, and milk chocolate in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from the heat. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk for about 5 minutes, or until pale yellow and a slowly dissolving ribbon forms on the surface when the whisk is lifted. Gradually whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Stir in the rum, vanilla, and salt. Set the custard aside to cool.
Melt the semisweet chocolate in a large stainless-steel bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and evenly fold in the bread. Pour the custard over the bread and let soak for 30 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter 6 (6-ounce) ramekins or a 9-by-13-inch gratin dish. Pour the mixture into the dish(es), cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until set. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes.
While the bread pudding bakes, make the chocolate sauce: Combine the semisweet chocolate, butter, corn syrup, and brandy in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cream. Keep the chocolate sauce in a double warmer off the heat to keep warm.
Serve the bread pudding hot, topped with a spoonful of warm chocolate sauce, a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts, and a dollop of whipped cream.
Reprinted with permission from ©Marin Magazine, Organic Marin: Recipes from Land to Table, by Tim Porter and Farina Wong Kingsley, published by Andrews McMeel click for book review
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