Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Grow up and enjoy your pudding...

Sometimes words fail me...make the most of it...lol

The traditional suet pudding Spotted Dick has been renamed "Spotted Richard" at a council canteen - because customers keep making jokes. The new name for the dessert, with another alternative Sultana Sponge, has appeared on the menu at Flintshire Council headquarters in Mold.

The council said catering staff made the decision after "immature comments" and it was not a policy decision. But one councillor described the move as "political correctness gone mad". Staff from the nearby court complex in Mold also use the council canteen, (quite what the relevance of this is escapes me).

Spotted Dick is a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit, and is thought to have originated in the middle of the 19th Century. The "spotted" part of the name refers to the currants, which resemble spots, and "Dick" is believed to derive from the word dough.

The council spokesman said: "The correct title for this dish is 'Spotted Dick.' However because of several immature comments from a few customers, catering staff renamed the dish 'Spotted Richard' or 'Sultana Sponge'.

"This was not a policy decision, canteen staff simply acted as they thought best to put an end to unwelcome and childish comments, albeit from a very small number of customers."

But Flintshire Councillor Klaus Armstrong-Braun (a fine Welsh name) criticised the ban on the original pudding name. He said he had made an official complaint about the name change which he called "ludicrous" and said had cost money because a new label was needed for the food.

The councillor said the bosses who had made the decision would soon be "frightened of their own shadow. People make silly comments about everything in life, there is no need to change the name over it."

This recipe comes from one of our up and coming chefs, James Martin, a no nonsense, straight talking Yorkshireman...

Ingredients For the spotted dick

300g/10oz plain flour
10g/2 tsp baking powder
150g/5oz shredded suet
75g/3oz caster sugar
110g/4oz currants
1 lemon, zest only
200ml/7fl oz milk
butter, for greasing

For the custard

200ml/7fl oz milk
200ml/7fl oz double cream
6 free-range egg yolks
75g/3oz caster sugar


1. For the spotted dick, place the flour, baking powder, shredded suet, caster sugar, currants and lemon zest into a bowl and mix to combine.

2. Add the milk and stir to make a soft dough.
3. Grease a pudding basin with butter and spoon the mixture into the basin. Cover with a piece of folded greaseproof paper.
4. Tie around the edge with string to secure the paper and place a damp tea towel over the top. Tie once more with string to secure the tea towel.
5. Place the basin into a large lidded saucepan and fill the pan two-thirds of the way up with water.
6. Cover with the lid, bring to a boil and simmer for one hour.
7. For the custard, place the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
8. Place the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk together until light and frothy.
9. Pour the hot milk onto the eggs, a little at a time, and stir well. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spatula, until just thickened.
10. To serve, slice a wedge of spotted dick for each person and place onto each of six plates. Pour over the custard and serve at once.


  1. My husband says "probably the best pudding in the whole world, regardless of what it is called!

  2. Haha! So glad to hear the story and get the recipe, through I'll need a conversion chart for the ingredients and I'm not sure where to find shredded suet (and not sure what caster sugar is either, perhaps powdered sugar? or brown sugar?).

    My girlfriends and I enjoy visiting a local authentic British tea shop, and we are always hoping Spotted Dick will be on the menu as we have heard much about it from our friend who is married to a Brit. I'll admit we titter childishly at the name. Who could help it!?

  3. To titter at the silliness of life is wonderful despite the nay sayers and PC brigade....a rose by any other name etc.

  4. "The traditional suet pudding Spotted Dick has been renamed "Spotted Richard" at a council canteen - because customers keep making jokes."

    I don't believe this!!!!! Must tell my husband who funnily enough is a Richard - never a Dick, always a Richard! By name anyway!

    Wonderful recipe but i will never be able to look at it the same way again!

    At school:

    Jam Roly Poly was "Dead's Man's Leg' in honour of the late, one legged gardener!

    Saturday lunch was always Meat and Potato Pie known to we boarders as "Monty Pie" as the school's dog died on a Saturday morning and this pie was later served for lunch.

    Sago Pudding was known as 'Frogs' Spawn'!!

    Should I go on???

  5. The dog of course was named Monty!

  6. Oh Bee, you are so funny! More confusing terms for me though. Sago pudding? Would that be like tapioca? Or maybe Acini de pepe pasta?

  7. Oh Michael, you seem to have beaten me to it! We both must have been feeling peckish! You, however, have given rather more of the background. Oh well, I'll just have extra custard on mine, thanks!