Image © Cynthia Nelson
“I first made this bun a few years ago and since then, it has been a staple on my list of Easter treats. Do try it with the cheese and a cup of tea or coffee.” – Cynthia Nelson, Tastes Like Home
1 (12 x 4 ½-inch) loaf pan OR 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt (1/8 tsp.)
1 egg, room temperature
1 ½ cups brown sugar (Caribbean)
2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1 heaped cup raisins
1/4 cup dark rum
For Glaze & Topping:
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
12 – 14 Maraschino cherries, halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle.
Grease a large loaf pan and set aside.
Toss raisins with rum and set aside.
Add flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt to a large bowl, mix thoroughly and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat egg until frothy then add sugar, butter, milk and essence and beat until fully incorporated. Add raisins and rum to egg-sugar-milk mixture and mix well.
Pour the wet ingredients – egg, sugar, milk, butter, essence, raisins, and rum – into the bowl with the flour and spices and mix well until the batter is smooth; there should be no lumps.
Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 55 minutes. Meanwhile add the 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar to a small pot and place on medium low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute and remove from heat and set aside.
At the 55-minute mark, remove the bun from the oven and glaze with the syrup. Arrange the halved cherries, cut-side down along the middle of the loaf from one end to another. Brush again with syrup and return the bun to the oven and let bake for 5 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
As soon as the bun is removed from the oven, glaze again and let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool.
Serve at room temperature with slices of aged sharp cheddar cheese.
– Instead of milk, you can use a cup of port or your favourite red wine.
– Instead of decorating the loaf with the cherries you can add 1/2 cup of cherries, halved, to the batter by folding it in just before pouring the batter into the prepared pan.