The name Spotted Dick has sometimes been known to raise an eyebrow. In fact one hospital in Gloucestershire renamed it Spotted Richard for a short time in order to spare patients' blushes. ( A decision that was swiftly reversed following uproar) Any embarrassment is in fact more likely to be caused by the calorie content in this currant and suet laden traditional pudding than by any potential double-entendre. The earliest mention seems to be around 1847 and, historically, the name may have come about as spotted pudding would be pronounced in different regions as spotted puddink or puddick then abbreviated to dick. In Ireland it's variously known as Sweet Cake , Curnie Cake or even Railway Cake - it's not clear how any of these come about. In the USA this dish is often known as Spotted Dog and indeed the Dalmatian Club members enthuse about its appearance as resembling the coats of their favourite hounds.Whilst Spotted Dick is traditionally a boiled or steamed pudding, it can also be baked with good results.
100 grams ( 4oz) Self Raising Flour
Pinch of salt
75 grams ( 3oz) Shredded Suet ( vegetarian suet substitute is now available)
75grams ( 3oz) fresh Bread Crumbs
50 Grams ( 2oz ) Caster sugar)
175 Grams (7oz) Currants ( or currants and raisins mixed to your liking)
Grated rind of 1 ( unwaxed ) Lemon
5 tablespoons Milk
Mix all the dry ingredients together including lemon rind then add the fruit to the mixture.
Add milk slowly and then knead till you get a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto floured board and roll out into rectangle shape about 9" by 11"
Roll this up into a tube shape.
Wrap in muslin cloth or a clean teatowel (so that it keeps its shape)
You need to tie this at each end so that it looks a bit like a Christmas cracker
Put in steamer for about 2 hours
(If you don't have steamer you can boil a big pan of water and use this to steam or boil the pudding.)
If you prefer to bake it, you can wrap the pudding in kitchen foil instead of cloth and bake in oven for about 1hr 30 Min's ( some say this makes the pudding a bit dry but you could try both and see which you prefer )
on 200 C 400F Gas mark 6.
Serve pudding sliced with lots of thick custard - a real winter warmer.
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