Coffee Orange Chia Marmalade

by - September 17, 2015


  Think about the most popular breakfast drinks in the world: ice cold OJ and bitter, acidic coffee. Think about the smell of a breakfast buffet (minus the waffles, if you can imagine breakfast without waffles) (I struggle): zesty orange, roasted coffee beans. 
  When I was a kid, orange juice was my favourite thing to drink. Not just for breakfast but in general. And now I have graduated and moved on to coffee. It got to a stage where I drank about 10 cups a day. I admit, not the healthiest habit. 
  In many ways, orange and coffee were meant to be. An unlikely couple, if you think about it, and I admit I had my doubts about adding the coffee when the marmalade by itself already smelled so good.


  Both are acid, although orange very much on the sweeter side (if you've got a good orange, that is), and coffee right on the other end of the spectrum: wickedly bitter. When you put the two together it's like a complex balancing act: not too sweet but equally much more enjoyable than acrid black coffee. The rind of the orange itself lends to the bitterness of this marmalade, altogether mildly saccharine  with a very slight caffine aftertaste.
  (yum)

  While I initially wanted to make this a marmalade thickened mainly with chia seeds, I realised that this could easily be made without them. Just leave them reducing for a longer time, on lower heat. However! If you do have chia seeds, please add them in. Because (a) all those amazing omega 3s; and (b) it adds an interesting addition to the already jam-like texture of the marmalade.


  Marmalade in itself doesn't usually require a thickening agent like most jams do. No fruit pectin, no apples (again, pectin), no cornstarch. Just fruit + chia + coffee + a teensy bit of sweetener. Really simple.
  For the coffee, you can either use (a really good) instant coffee of a shot of espresso. I highly suggest the esspresso because even an average espresso brew is so much better than the best instant coffee out there. Sorry, #coffeesnob and proud. If you don't drink coffee, you can either use a barley coffee alternative in the same proportions as instant coffee, or add a touch of carob powder, which has a similar caramel taste as coffee does, although not nearly as bitter.
  Don't add any more coffee than I've suggested. I've tried it with more and it begins to overpower the tang from the orange. So: more coffee jam infused with orange than the way it's supposed to be. Also, you want to retain as much of that orange-y hue as possible. As much as I adore coffee, the thought of spreading a very brown jam onto toast strikes me as something a lot less exciting than sunshiney marmalade.


Coffee Orange Chia Marmalade
Makes: about 2 jam jars worth.

4 medium oranges, cut into cubes. I leave the skin on because i like the bitterness it adds, but cut out some of the rind if you prefer a much sweeter jam.
1/2 tsp ginger powder, or 1 inch of fresh ginger 
2 tsp instant coffee / 1 shot of espresso 
3-4 tsp honey/sweetener of choice
2 tbsp chia seeds

In a saucepan, add the oranges, ginger, coffee and honey and a splash of water to cover the base of the pan. On a medium heat let this boil and then simmer for about an hour, or until the orange is completey broken down and you can break the rind easily by pressing into it with a wooden spoon. Once most of the liquid has evaporated, take it off the heat, remove the fresh ginger if you are using that, and place it in a blender. Blitz it to whatever consistency you like marmalade, I like mine with studded with , generous chunks of rind. Stir in the chia seeds with a spoon, don't blend it! Then pour into the jam jars and leave in the fridge to set further. If you plan on keeping the jam for a while, I suggest you sterilise the jars before using them by boiling them in hot water right before filling them.


Life without coffee is depresso. (not a proper post with a silly pun, amirite?)

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