Recipes, Drinks, Spices, Cookbooks | Haïti Gastronomy

Kasav perdues, French toasts with a Haitian twist


Kasav Perdues for your taste

Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast…the one meal I can (usually) do without. Yet, I occasionally feel like indulging myself on Sunday mornings. When that craving comes, I turn to pain perdu, French toasts in English.

Yes, I did just mention French toasts as my go-to breakfast. I know that up until now, I’ve repeatedly fed you Belgian waffles both on the blog and on Instagram. I perhaps brought up pain perdu once or twice at most in my stories. In all honesty, waffles took over my taste buds this past year, which explains why they found their way on the blog and social media more often.

French toasts remain my first love, however. They conquered my palate first.

Prepared with cassava bread, these jam stuffed French toasts will brighten your morning breakfasts. |

I was about 14 at the time, the perfect time for a teen to fall in love with pretty much anything and everything. We were spending our long Easter weekend at the beach on the Côte des Arcadins (north coast of Haïti). Our room rate included daily à la carte breakfast, a true challenge for a breakfast hater. Every dish seemed to include eggs.
Sensing my despair, my aunt suggested that I try the pain perdu, French toasts. I had never eaten them before, but I had no choice but to give in for otherwise I would starve. My palate was conquered. Every morning for three days, I requested pain perdu served with chadèque jam.

Ever since that weekend, whenever I crave breakfast, I go for French toasts and freshly squeezed juice. Many of my Sunday mornings started that way for years. But all this time, I never had a recipe I could truly call my own. I kept replicating the same French baguette pain perdu served alongside chadèque jam that I had discovered that Easter weekend. To prepare them, I borrowed recipes here and there that I adapted to my taste by adding lime zest and Haitian rum to the batter. But today, the time has finally come for me to serve you a new recipe.

The kasav perdues I am sharing with you today proudly wear both the Tchakayiti and Haitian flag.

I can finally call a French toast recipe my own. And I couldn’t feel prouder. As the name indicates, I use local cassavas in lieu of bread to prepare them. They make for slightly toasted French toasts with a soft and sweet apricot jam interior that I serve with either whipped cream or my special sour cream sauce, which you’ll discover below. Think crusty thin cassava pudding stuffed with jam, without the baking hassle. Served with a mixture of freshly squeezed oranges from the garden and pineapple juice, these kasav perdues make for a refreshing Caribbean breakfast morning.

Prepared with cassava bread, these jam stuffed French toasts will brighten your morning breakfasts. |

Kasav perdues, a Tchakayiti twist to the traditional French toasts

Think of these kasav perdues as French toasts prepared with cassava bread in lieu of regular bread. You can whip them up in under 30 minutes. The preparation method is that simple. I wrapped the ones I am serving you today around my tangy sweet Caribbean apricot jam, which recipe you’ve discovered on the blog before. But feel free to stuff them with your favorite.

Serve them with some freshly squeezed orange from the garden and pineapple juice for a refreshing Caribbean breakfast morning.

No cassava at hand? Don’t worry, you can still enjoy this recipe with your favorite bread. If using sandwich bread, you can roll them up, But, if like me you’re a baguette fan, simply add the jam as a topping after frying the soaked bread.

For the kasav perdues rolls

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 grated zest from one lime
  • 12 mini cassavas
    or 6 regular round ones
  • ½ stick of butter for cooking
  • Prepared apricot jam
  • Whipped cream for topping optional

Sour Cream Topping (Optional)

  • 4 oz sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 zest from one lime

For the sour cream topping

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and preserve in the fridge while you prepare the cassaves perdues.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

For the kasav perdues

  1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and cream
  2. In a separate bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon. Doing so helps avoid cinnamon clusters in the batter.
  3. Incorporate all the remaining ingredients up to the lime zest in the egg and cream mixture
  4. Whisk until slightly frothy and set aside
  5. Wet the cassava bread with water to soften them and improve their pliability
  6. Lay each cassava flat, spoon the jam in the middle and roll. Repeat this step with each cassava
  7. Dip the cassava rolls in the batter and let them soak while you melt the butter
  8. Add the butter to a preheated nonstick skillet
  9. Once the butter has fully melted, carefully place your rolls in the skillet and cook until golden on all sides.
  10. Serve warm with the optional sour cream topping

Cassava bread tends to be crispy. For this particular recipe, I recommend you go for soft pliable cassava breads.

Don’t skimp on the butter. This trick I learned from Molly Wizenberg in A Homemade Life, helps add some more crunch to the French toasts.

To turn these into a decadent and boozy breakfast, flambé your cooked kasav perdues with some dark rum, preferably Haitian.

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