by Julia Thiel
Challenged by Eric Houser of Parson's Chicken & Fish to create a cocktail with spotted dick, Graham Courter of the Matchbox first had to locate the British steamed suet pudding. While he could have made it himself, buying it seemed easier—at least until he searched several different British markets and Mariano's locations with no luck. He finally located a can of Heinz spotted dick at World Market.
The "spotted" part of the name comes from the raisins or currants with which the dessert is studded; the origins of the second half are less clear, but "dick" is thought to be a corruption of either "dough" or the second syllable of "pudding." Courter says Heinz's version is "greasy and spongy in consistency" and tastes a little like whey.
Taking his inspiration from the Brandy Alexander—traditionally a mix of brandy, cream, and creme de cacao—Courter macerated the spotted dick with cream, then strained out the solids. "It took the flavor really, really well," he says. In addition to the spotted dick-infused cream, he poured cognac, dark chocolate liqueur, and creme de cacao into a blender before adding several scoops of ice cream and blending the mixture. Courter had also whipped some of the infusion, which he used to top the cocktail, garnishing it with a couple raisins and a dusting of fresh nutmeg. Courter named his cocktail Lord Houser's Spotted Dick Cream in honor of Eric Houser, who issued him the challenge.
Courter has challenged Donnie Krause of Yusho to create a cocktail with Robitussin.
Lord Houser's Spotted Dick Cream
2.5 oz Fransac Extra Grande Champagne Cognac
.75 oz Meletti Cioccolato liqueur
.75 oz Marie Brizard creme de cacao
.75 oz spotted dick-infused cream*
2-3 scoops vanilla ice cream
Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend, top with spotted dick foam* , and garnish with two raisins and fresh grated nutmeg.
* To make the cream, blend spotted dick with heavy whipping cream, let sit for an hour, then strain. Reserve some, and whip the rest in an iSi canister to make the foam.