Sunday 21 September 2014

2 course menu: cod en croute with crab and sticky toffee apple crumble


I love apple crumble and I love sticky toffee pudding, so I decided to combine the two and create my own pudding - which tastes amazing! I've never come across this before though perhaps someone has already invented it, but I am very pleased with my sticky toffee apple crumble.

I made this for the SACO Kitchen Challenge. SACO is a company that provides serviced apartments worldwide - as an alternative to staying in a hotel, where you might have more space but also the ability to cook your own meals, an option you don't have in a hotel.

The challenge is to come up with a two-course meal for two, that guests could cook in a SACO apartment kitchen with the standard equipment provided in the apartments. They sent over the inventory and I was impressed at the range of utensils, pots and pans and so on - there are too many things to list here but you get things like a mixing bowl, pie dishes, cheese grater, glass oven proof dishes, tea towels and so on.

This time of year is great to get friends and family together whether it's to go and see the fireworks on November 5, visit another country for a Halloween break or to check out the Christmas markets, or to do your own take on a Thanksgiving meal with family or friends - after all, not many people have enough room in their homes to put up that many people overnight, so you might be better off renting an apartment for a night or two!

With that in mind I wanted my two-course menu to be fairly autumnal - hearty food with warm flavours. I decided to make cod en croute stuffed with crab with potato wedges for the main course, and sticky toffee apple crumble for pudding.

Cod en Croute stuffed with  Crab - an original recipe by Caroline Makes

serves 2
2 cod fillets
170g tin of shredded crab meat
1 piece of day old bread, chopped into small cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp capers, chopped plus two extra for decoration
dash of lemon juice
200g ready-made puff pastry
1 egg

For the potato wedges:
5-6 potatoes depending on size
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 175C. First prepare the potato wedges. Wash and dry the potatoes with a clean tea towel. Slice with a sharp knife on a chopping board into wedges.

Line a large baking tray with foil or grease with a little oil. Toss the potatoes with the salt and a dash of oil and spread out across the tin. Bake in the oven for one hour, turning half way through.

For the fish:
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured chopping board. Using a sharp knife, cut out a fish shape slightly bigger than your piece of fish; use that as a template to cut out another three.

Drain the tin of crab meat and mix in a small bowl with the bread, salt, cayenne pepper, mayonnaise, capers and lemon juice.

Place the cod pieces onto a piece of fish-shaped puff pastry and spoon half the crab mixture on top of each piece of fish, spreading out evenly.

Place the other piece of pastry on top. Place a caper where the fish's eye would be.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with green veg and the potato wedges.

For the sticky toffee apple crumble
Serves 4 - ideal if there are two of you because you will want some more of this the next day!
75g unsalted butter
125g light brown sugar
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour
2 apples
50g light brown sugar
50g unsalted butter
75ml double cream

Preheat oven to 175C (or make this and the main course at the same time).

Grease a glass oven proof dish.

In a bowl cream 75g butter with 125g light brown sugar. Beat in two eggs and 200g self-raising flour.

Thinly slice two apples.

Spoon half the cake mixture into the base of the ovenproof dish and place the apple slices on top. Spoon the rest of the cake mixture on top of the apples.

To make the toffee sauce, place 50g light brown sugar, 50g unsalted butter and 75ml double cream into a small pan.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes then pour over the top of the apple and cake mixture.

Place 200g plain flour, 120g butter and 120g caster sugar in a bowl and rub together with your finger tips to make a breadcrumb-like texture - this is your crumble topping. Spoon the crumble mixture over the top of the pudding.

Place the ovenproof dish on a baking tray in case of any leakage and bake in the oven for half an hour.

When you dig in you will see the base is like a sticky toffee pudding - the caramel sauce will have soaked in to the cake mixture as it cooks, giving a lovely sticky, moist base. Then you have the layer of apple in the middle and the crumble topping which will be a lovely golden brown. This is a very sweet pudding but absolutely delicious.

 This is my entry in the SACO Kitchen Challenge - thanks to SACO for providing £20 with which to purchase all the ingredients for these two courses.

I am also sending this to a blogging round-up called the Four Seasons Food challenge, hosted by Louisa at Eat Your Veg and Anneli at Delicieux. Their chosen ingredient this month is fruit.


  1. your cod encroute is just too cute... I have never thought of doing it shaped like a fish... love the crumble too, what a meal. It's barely 9am and already I'm hungry for this!

  2. Love the Sticky Toffee Apple Crumble recipe sounds fabulous, have an abundance of apples in the garden so may very well be giving this recipe a go.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

  3. Firstly my apologies Caroline in only getting around to reading your post now, but thank you so much for linking your recipe up to September's Four Seasons Food 'Getting Fruity' challenge. Sounds like the perfect alchemy of two pudding faves, yes please!


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