Imported Spotted Dick in a Can

o ye famous englishe dessert with ye funnye name. (ok, excuse my poor attempt at pseudo-middle-english; according to wikipedia, spotted dick emerged in the middle of the 19th century, but who can resist? not i.)

it’s been one of those things that i’ve seen on menus in england but have been too chicken to ask for, so when i saw it at the local wegmans (which has, incidentally, become my favorite grocery store), i had to try it, even if it was in a can and cost $5.19 (*shaking fist at the pricey-but-always-tempting imported food aisle*).

I guess they make more than just ketchup!

to be honest, i had no idea what to expect. “sponge pudding” sounds so vague, and the background picture of the label could be anything.

For something canned, it sure is complicated to prepare. I think you have to open the top first because the cake settles to the bottom and sticks to the lower lid?

now mind you, i love raisins and got excited when i saw the list of ingredients, but when i opened the can (THIS END FIRST), i was umm, taken aback:

Not what I expected, though perhaps I had my hopes set a bit too high for a canned cake. Picture taken after I had run a knife along the edges.

it did, however, smell quite raisiny! i popped it in the microwave as directed and sat down to eat.

Here goes nothing!

it tasted sort of like it looks, like a rum raisin cake without the rum. the cake (can i call it a cake?), for being steamed, was quite dry, with the only moisture seemingly provided by what i imagine was a prolonged submersion into a raisiny simple syrup. the taste was quite passable (again, as long as you like raisin), but the texture left a lot to be desired. i managed to finish half before tiring of it, thus ending my spotted dick experiment. unless someone tells me that spotted dick is really an amazing dessert whose essence you cannot capture in a can, i will not be ordering this any time soon.

Too crumby, on the verge of mealy.

according to the wikipedia article and a recipe it linked to, it looks like you’re supposed to eat it with vanilla custard. i think, actually, that might have helped a lot with the moisture and a reduction in the overpowering raisin taste.

for the record, my favorite steamed cake is (and i had to google this for the chinese, thanks wikipedia) 馬拉糕 (ma laai gou, pronounced like “ma lie go”), aka “Malay Steamed Sponge Cake” which you can get at dim sum restaurants. mmm!

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4 thoughts on “Imported Spotted Dick in a Can

  1. I have the ingredients to actually make one now, so I’m going to try it when I have some free time. I think yours was probably a bit dry–you might want to try it with vanilla ice cream next time (if there is a next time, of course). I dislike vanilla custard (it’s not what you think it is) but most Brits would crawl through Schistosoma-infested lakes to get it if they had to.

    Canned spotted dick is just #FAIL, no matter how fresh it is.

    • yeah the “custard” looked more like a vanilla sauce? hmm. that ice cream does sound like a good call…

      • The custard is usually sold in a packet. You rehydrate it with something or other (milk, I hope) and warm it up. There is hardly anything natural in it.

        I hate custard and avoid it whenever I can. Artificial egg, artificial vanilla, artificial milk (powdered).

        Luckily I got my British passport before I revealed that I hate custard…they might have denied it had I let on before.

  2. Thank you for trying the spotted dick in a can so I don’t have to. I assume Justin Timberlake won’t be writing a song about this delightful dessert on SNL.

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