3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spice*
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tbsp (or half a stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup dark brown sugar (+ another 1/4 cup for simple syrup glaze)
2 tbsp guava jam
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rose water (optional)
Few drops of almond flavor (optional)
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp Jamaican browning (more or less depending on how light or dark you want your bun)
1/2 bottle of Guinness stout
1/2 to 1 cup mixed fruits (raisins and maraschino cherries – your choice how much of each – soaked in Red Label or Manischewitz wine and Wray & Nephew white rum) – reserve the liquor the fruits soaked in, about 2 tbsp (optional)
Maraschino cherries for topping (optional)
1/4 cup of water for simple syrup glaze
*Mixed spice can be purchased or made at home and stored for multiple uses later: 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground allspice, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground ginger, 3/4 tsp ground anise. Other spices like ground coriander or ground mace can be added, if desired.
1) At least several days in advance, soak the raisins and cherries in red wine and white rum.
2) On low heat, melt the half stick of unsalted butter. Then, add the evaporated milk, guava jam, 2 tbsp of the liquor the fruits soaked in (optional), 1 cup of dark brown sugar (more or less depending on how sweet you like your bun), and honey. Stir and warm everything together until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3) Into a mixing bowl, sieve the all-purpose flour with the baking powder, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Use a whisk to mix well.
4) In a separate small bowl, beat two eggs.
5) Once the sugar and butter mixture has cooled, add the vanilla extract, optional rose water and almond flavor, lemon or lime juice, and browning to the mixture and combine well. Then, add the two beaten eggs to the mixture and combine well.
6) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the wet mixture into the dry flour mixture a little at a time while folding it in. Combine well, but do not stir vigorously or over-mix.
7) Add ½ bottle of Guinness stout and the soaked fruits to the batter. Combine well.
8) Prepare a nonstick loaf pan with butter and flour, baking spray, or even parchment paper to ensure the bun will be easy to remove once baked.
9) Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour (maybe more). Twenty minutes into baking, top with maraschino cherries, if desired, then continue baking.
10) In a small saucepan, bring equal parts dark brown sugar and water (1/4 cup each) to a low simmer to make a simple syrup. Turn off the heat, and let the syrup sit until the bun is finished baking.
11) The bun is done when you can stick it with a knife and what comes out is no longer wet. (The knife doesn’t have to come out completely clean, as long as it’s not wet). Remove from the oven, brush it with the simple syrup, then let the bun cool for at least one hour on the countertop.
Slice and serve with Jamaican processed cheese, and enjoy!