Spotted Dog

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Spotted dog is a cross between a bread and a cake. It isn't too sweet and can be sliced and spread with butter or eaten plain. I believe it is a traditional Irish fruit bread which goes by many other names including curnie cake and railway cake depending on the area.

I made this recipe as something that isn't too high in fat and sugar. The 2lb loaf (I made two 1lb loaves) contains no butter and only 3tbsp of sugar. The recipe was very easy to follow and didn't really take much time at all. I used whatever dried fruit I had lying around (a berry mix and some sultanas to bring it up to the required weight) and the verdict was pretty good.

I must say I didn't taste this myself (I posted a loaf each to my dad and a friend of mine) my dad said he really liked it and was saving the last piece to have before he went to bed. I'm very tempted to make this again and think it would be delicious with a cup of tea and a chat with friends.

300g/10oz plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
3tbsp caster sugar
100g/4oz mixed dried fruit
1 egg, beaten
200ml/7fl oz buttermilk*

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Butter a 2lb loaf tin (or two 1lb tins.
Sift the flour, salt and bicarb together into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the fruit, egg and buttermilk. Mix lightly and quickly into a soft dough.
With floured hands, remove the dough from the bowl and knead very briefly. Press into the prepared tin.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden and the loaf feels firm to the touch.
Turn out and leave to cool.

*A note about buttermilk -
I didn't and don't have buttermilk in my kitchen. I used a simple recipe of 1tbsp lemon juice (or white vinegar) to 200ml of milk. Mix together and leave to stand for 5 minutes and use as called for in the recipe.

This recipe is from the BBC Good Food magazine book 101 Cakes and Bakes.


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