Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Spotted Dick Pudding

I finally gave in to curiosity, and bought this:

So what is it, really?

It's a spicy suet sponge pudding with currants.

Why is it called Spotted Dick?

The word "dick" has appeared in any number of strange places. Around the 1840s, "dick" was used to mean a type of hard cheese; when treacle sauce was added, it became "treacle dick", and finally when currants or raisins were added (looking like little spots), the "spotted dick" was born.

The earliest recipes for spotted dick are from 1847. For non-British readers, "spotted dick" is a boiled suet pudding, with bits of dried fruit (usually raisins or currants) that (as already noted) look like little spots.

Source: Straight Dope

Just as delirouslybored mentioned in his comments, it's similar to "huat kueh", only sweeter, somewhat oily, richer in flavour, and liberally enriched with currants.

Taste wise, I would say it was like a cross between a sponge cake and a christmas fruit cake.

The first thought that came to mind when I took the first bite was -- "Mmmmm... this would go really well with a splash of brandy!".

It's not overpoweringly sweet (which is good), and has hints of spices (my untrained palate suggested traces of bunga cengkih and kayu manis).

My only complain is that the bottom part of the pudding was practically swimming in oil. Then again, it might have been my fault. I left it in the microwave too long, and that might have caused the oil/fat/butter/wax/booger/whatever to melt and accumulate at the bottom.

Conclusion: it's a pleasant dessert. Worth a try. It's available in Tesco and Sainsbury's. Or, you can make it yourself.


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