Kathy Dorsey is a born and bred Cajun. Her people came to Louisiana from the Acadian settlement in Nova Scotia in 1716, even before the British expelled the French. Before that, they were from Belgium. Until she married, she never left that 65-mile radius where the Acadians — Cajuns here — came. Cajuns have a different ethnic background than the Creole in New Orleans. She comes from a food creation background and decided to combine her love of making pastry with her rich Cajun heritage, to spread across the country! Thus, Louisiana Praline Factory was born. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!
Kathy explains that Cajuns like desserts that look and taste homemade, so that’s what she aims for. The treats have an 8 week shelf life.
One of her most popular desserts are her various “ooey gooeys”, which she says may have a Northern origin, but she adds a Southern touch. These are soft desserts that have a bar cake base, not dry crusts that you’d toss to the puppy. They really do seem like something a friend made for you. Louisiana Lemon Ooey Gooey is moist on top, crunchier on the bottom, sweet but not overly so. It’s lemony! Louisiana Chocolate Ooey Gooey has big cocoa flavor, without that burnt flour taste that some home cooks can’t help getting. Louisiana Pecan Pie Gateaux combines that favorite pie with all of the goodness of ooey gooeys. It’s not cloyingly sweet. It has rich nutty flavor, instead of those syrupy ones that you see at the grocery store. Probably the most popular flavor — and one I favor, too — is the Vanilla Ooey Gooey. It’s delicate and buttery, very special.
Do you secretly hate to share? There are several varieties of mini loaves that are complete little cakes onto themselves. Louisiana Lemon Loaf is moist, yellow cake with a rich and lemony flavor, not overly sweet. It would be perfect with tea. Louisiana Southern Pecan Brownie is rich, very dense, chocolately, with lots of crushed pecans and a hint of salt. Louisiana Pound Cake Loaf is light, moist, puffy, lightly sweet. It has rich flavor. This would be perfect after a highly seasoned meal. Southern Fudge Brownie is deep, dark and fudgy, with a tiny hint of salt.
Last, but certainly not least, are the company’s eponymous Pralines. It has rich cream and butter flavor, with pecan nut meat. It snaps off for pieces, but it is a softer, not hard candy. It has lots of candied pieces of nuts.