As with many of you, any time someone mentioned the British dish Spotted Dick, I snickered. And giggled. And raised an eyebrow or two. My mind went many places, many of them not fit to print if you know what I mean. And for the longest time, I thought Spotted Dick was a meat dish (stop laughing) not a dessert.
A classic Spotted Dick is a sponge pudding, usually made with suet, currents and served with custard. The "spotted" part usually refers to the currents or raisins embedded throughout the pudding...which isn't really pudding...it's more like cake.
I found many recipes and almost made Spotted Dick from scratch, but I figured I had to try this canned version that I've seen sold for years at Cost Plus. Traditionally the from scratch recipe is steamed, but this canned version could also be microwaved. I chose to "steam" it as per the instructions on the can by boiling it in a pot of water (just dump the whole can in and boil gently for about 35 minutes). Once the pudding is done, you take it out of the can and you end up with what looks like a little cake.
See? It does look spotted! I actually served this with some canned custard from the UK (Ambrosia Devon Custard).
And how did it taste? Surprisingly good. Mr. L and I both thought there was a bit of spiciness to the dish. The custard made the somewhat dry (do you see a recurring theme?) cake very palatable. As for the authenticity of the canned Spotted Dick? A few days ago we had dinner with Mr. L's boss who comes from England and he was a bit surprised when we mentioned that the dish was a bit spicy...and that it had raisins instead of currents. I think at some point, I'm going to need to try to make the dish from scratch.
The canned Spotted Dick was $4.99 at World Market and serves 3.5 with each serving coming in at 260 calories. I say if you really want to have fun some night, split this in four and serve with some custard and you'll have an interesting conversation piece for dessert. As a side note, we served this warm cake with the custard cold spread on top...you can actually put the custard warm or cold on a plate and serve the Spotted Dick on top.
As far as the name, years ago they tried to change it to be Spotted Richard or Spotted Dog but the new names didn't catch on. I guess it wasn't nearly as fun as saying you're having Spotted Dick after dinner....