How To Elevate Canned Spotted Dick So It Seems Freshly Made

Spotted dick with custard
Spotted dick with custard - Clubfoto/Getty Images

There's nothing wrong with ready-made desserts, but they can make for a slightly sad plating experience. This is especially true for the iconic British dessert, spotted dick. As comforting as this combination of pudding, suet, and dried fruit is, its brown-on-brown color isn't exactly Instagrammable. Luckily this can be remedied by adding color or lashings of sauce and some sleight of hand.

Although a homemade spotted dick can also benefit from some extra flair, its canned sister is more difficult to work with. When made from scratch, spotted dick has an interesting shape because it's usually made in a patisse pudding mold. This mold is wide at the top and slightly narrow at the bottom, with a tube in the middle that creates a hole in the center of the dessert.

However, when you get your spotted dick from a can, you get a thick, flat slab of sponge that looks more like a hockey puck than a dessert. One great way to conceal that flatness after warming the canned dessert in boiling water or the microwave is to serve your spotted dick in a rimmed bowl, pour over plenty of vanilla custard, and sprinkle on some currants. The custard will frame the cake, making its flat shape seem more interesting, and the currants will bring depth to your plate. If you want to add an extra dimension with a splash of color, use vibrant redcurrants.

Read more: 13 Store-Bought Ice Cream Bars Ranked From Worst To Best

Take Your Spotted Dick A Step Further With A Pastry Cutter

Spotted dick and cream
Spotted dick and cream - Phill Thornton/Getty Images

This is all well and good if you're at home, but what if you're having company over and have completely forgotten to make the dessert, leading to an emergency trip to the store? Sure, that might seem more like a plotline from "Come Dine With Me" than real life, but let's run with it. If you want to truly sell the fantasy of a homemade spotted dick, you'll need to find a way to make that spongey hockey puck look like it's come from a patisse mold. This will require you to do two things: sacrifice a little bit of your cake, and deploy the art of deception.

If you don't have any crinkled pastry cutters at home, this is your sign to pick some up. First, use the cutter on your canned spotted dick to give it the appearance of being made in a patisse mold. Next, use a smaller, smooth cutter to create a hole in the middle of the dessert. You'll be left with a bit of excess sponge, but what good chef doesn't taste their food before serving? Use the trimmings as a little snack for yourself. You've earned it.

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