As a holiday dessert, bread pudding offers all the pleasurable reveries of traditional family feasts: it’s hearty, warm, and filling. But Ella Brennan and Dick Brennan, Sr., the doyens of New Orleans Creole cooking, have come up with a means of preserving the flavor while avoiding the dessert’s sometimes burdensome effects. They’ve concocted a soufflé – the lightest of confections – that is based on the classic Southern bread pudding. It’s not exactly a spur-of-the-moment recipe; one must first bake a bread pudding, then combine that with beaten egg whites to be baked again in soufflé form—but the results are most rewarding. Alex Brennan-Martin, who along with Dick Brennan, Jr., runs the family restaurant in Houston, calls the dish haute Creole cuisine: “It’s become a favorite here.” Easy to see why. Add the buttery whiskey sauce, and you’ve got the comfort of custard and a kick of bourbon.

Brennan’s, 3300 Smith Street, Houston. (713) 522-2348

Bread Pudding Soufflé With Whiskey Sauce—Recipe