Recipe courtesy of Yadi Garcia

Cinnamon Casabitos with Fudge Sauce, Mamba and Flaky Sea Salt

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 14 to 18 casabitos (4 to 6 servings)
These sweet, savory and salty casabitos are my spin on casabe; I make the crispy yuca flatbread smaller and play with flavors dear to my Caribbean childhood. The recipe is also an homage to the longstanding ancestral production of ingredients in the Caribbean and Dominican Republic, such as cacao and yuca. The Taino and Arawak traditionally made casabe over an open fire, griddling it on a budare after drying out the yuca for hours. We can use a box grater and cheesecloth to reduce the labor and time but still enjoy the benefits of this ancient flatbread. Casabe is typically enjoyed in the mornings dipped in a mug of hot chocolate, or served with a peanut spread or with a stew or sauce, for soaking. Instead of hot chocolate, I coat the casabitos in a rich but not overly sweet fudge sauce made with coconut sugar and oat milk. I then drizzle the casabitos with mamba. This spicy peanut butter sauce acknowledges the deep contributions and influence on our cuisine from our Haitian neighbors with whom we share an island. Nowadays, you can find garlic- or Parmesan-flavored casabe becoming more popular and sold in some supermarkets and bodegas. You can also always find it in someone's luggage when returning from the island, often at the request of an elder loved one.




Fudge Sauce:



  1. For the casabitos: Grate the yuca on the small holes of a box grater. You will end up with about 2 1/2 packed cups.
  2. Wrap the yuca in a cheesecloth or jelly strainer bag and wring out all the liquid to yield about 1 3/4 cups yuca resembling damp pre-grated Cheddar cheese; discard the liquid. The yuca should be damp enough to form a tight ball when squeezed. Wringing out the liquid is a very important step to achieve crisp casabitos. Place the yuca in a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and work thoroughly into the yuca with your hands. Let this dough rest for 5 minutes.
  3. For the mamba: Meanwhile, combine the peanuts, oil, coconut sugar, paprika, cayenne and cumin in a blender. Blend for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the sauce is mostly smooth with some visible pieces of peanuts. Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Continue making the casabitos: Divide the dough into 14 to 18 balls, each 25 to 27 grams (0.9 ounces; the size of a small-medium meatball).
  5. Grab a sheet of parchment paper, place 1 ball in the center and fold the parchment over it. Press down with your palm to flatten the ball, then roll it about 1/4 inch thick with a rolling pin. Open the parchment and cut the dough with a 3-inch pastry ring or biscuit cutter. Scrape away the excess dough and place the disk on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining balls.
  6. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium to high heat. Once it's hot, add 4 or 5 casabitos to the dry skillet without overcrowding. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook, watching the casabitos carefully and adjusting the heat to avoid burning, until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip once more and cook until the other side is browned, about 1 more minute. The casabitos will have a frosted white look to them with some charred spots. Transfer the casabitos to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack after they cook, so they can crisp as they cool. (Alternatively, bake the casabitos for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 415 degrees F, flipping them halfway through. I prefer the stovetop method because the casabitos will last longer.)
  7. For the fudge sauce: Combine the cacao powder, coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, oat milk, vanilla extract and salt in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes until it reaches your desired consistency and is thick enough to coat the casabitos. Remove from the heat.
  8. For finishing: Dip each casabito into the fudge sauce to coat just one half, leaving the other half uncoated. Transfer to a wire rack.
  9. Transfer the mamba to a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag with a tip snipped off. Pipe dots or 2 or 3 lines of mamba onto the top side of the fudge coating on each casabito. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
  10. Serve immediately and enjoy the casabitos for breakfast or a snack. Store any remaining casabitos in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.