Somewhat Tropical Bread with Blood Orange Marmalade

I used to hate orange marmalade as a kid. The kind that’s so bitter your whole face morphs into what belongs right alongside the definition of grimace. Then I started eating this one, which is really mild and definitely not bitter. And it was good.

I guess my palate grew more adventurous with age, as I found myself craving the most obnoxiously bitter marmalade I remembered from when I was wearing pigtails and a snotty nose. Which wasn’t, contrary to what some might think, only two weeks ago.
I don’t think the one I made is exactly what I was looking for, but it’s a good start.

As for the bread, it’s a hearty, buttery, flavorful loaf and I can tell it will make it easy for me to go through the last of the bulk shredded coconut I purchased a while back, as I’ve already made it 3 times this week.

I like to use frozen bananas thawed in the microwave for three reasons:
1. I can never tell when I’m going to want to bake banana-based stuff and having them ready in the freezer instead of seeing them bemoan their short lifespan on the counter makes it easier not to feel bullied into baking by browning fruit.
2. It makes them easier to mash, even if your bananas weren’t outrageously ripe before you placed them in the freezer. All it takes is a few brown spots for me to freeze them, since I don’t do the overripe thing because I don’t want to give further incentive for fruit flies and other insects to just barge in and make themselves comfortable on the couch, watching TV really loudly, while having beer-induced burping contests and scarfing the snacks they steal from our fridge.
3. I find that heating them intensifies the flavor ever so slightly.

You could also let them thaw out at room temperature if microwaves aren’t your cuppa.

Speaking of cuppa, I know using both cups and weights could be viewed as annoying, but that’s the way I do it. I’m not gonna rehash the virtues of investing in a cheap, reliable and long-lasting kitchen scale because I expect you would release the hounds at me in retaliation for it.

(Are those barking dogs I’m hearing?)

Somewhat Tropical Bread :

Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
170 g light brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut oil or other oil
1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
(add an extra 1/4 cup if the batter is too thick, but you should have no prob if weighing the flour)
4 ounces (114 g) frozen ripe banana, thawed (keep liquid) and mashed (it represents about half of a very large banana)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
300 g whole wheat pastry flour
(I use mine cold from the freezer)
12 g baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Lightly coat an 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10-cm) loaf pan with spray.
Combine coconut, sugar, oil, orange juice, mashed banana and salt in a large bowl. Add flour and baking powder on top, and stir until just combined.
Transfer into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick. If you see the loaf is browning up too quickly, loosely cover it with foil until it is ready.
Place on a wire rack, still in the pan, for about 15 minutes before transferring directly to the rack, and letting cool completely before slicing or storing. I store mine in the fridge and enjoy snacking on cold slices of it.

Yield: 1 loaf, about 12 slices

  • I LOVE oranges, but I don’t actually know if I have ever had orange marmalade… It’s never really appealed to me because I imagine it tasting “fake orangey” the way grape jelly tastes “fake grapey.” ;) But the one you pictured sounds – and looks – so delicious! I should try it! The bread sounds great, too.

    • Celine says:

      I definitely recommend trying the non-sweetened, mild one I linked to first then, to start you off. it doesn’t taste fake at all and I’m super sensitive to that too. hate grape jelly. ew.

  • Annika says:

    What an interesting recipe. I hope I can find the time to bake it soon.

    As an aside, the whole thing with keeping the flour in the freezer makes me curious. Is it due to germs and such?

    • Celine says:

      insects have a tendency to throw parties in bags of flour, so putting them in the freezer is like the party pooper from hell for them insects.
      it also keeps the flour(s) from going rancid if you don’t bake often. everything has a tendency to grow moldy and gross in five seconds flat in our apartment, so I prefer being safe than barfy. I mean, sorry.

  • Josiane says:

    Coconut, banana and orange: that bread sounds delicious, and very quick and easy to throw together! I happen to have a bunch of bananas slowly ripening on the counter, so I see your somewhat tropical delight in my near future. :)

    • Celine says:

      tu me diras ce que tu en penses si tu le fais? oh j’ai oublié de dire que j’utilise de la noix de coco non sucrée.

      • Josiane says:

        Je te tiens au courant! Oh, faudra que je pense à mettre une banane au congélateur… à moins que ça puisse se faire aussi sans l’avoir congelée puis dégelée?

      • Josiane says:

        I’m back with my report! We made it on Monday, and considering how fast it disappeared, I can say we *loved* it.

        – I had noticed before that my evaluation of banana size is different than yours, so I weighed the one I had, which I thought was on the larger side of medium-large, and 4 oz = all of it minus an inch. If you find bananas twice that size in your neck of the wood, I’m envious! :)
        – I cut the brown sugar down to 100 g, and may cut it down some more next time (yeah, I’m a chronic sugar-cut-downer, except for when I test recipes).
        – I had no idea of much baking powder 12 g of it would be (first time going by weight on that kind of ingredient), and as I kept adding more and more into the bowl to reach that weight, I thought it looked like a lot. It may just be a matter of perception, though; I think next time I’ll weigh it alone and then check how much that was in volume, I’m curious.

        I really loved the orange-banana-coconut flavor mix, and the buttery feel the cake gets from the coconut. It was indeed quick and easy to throw together (I love all-ingredients-in-one-bowl recipes!). I totally get how that cake became a favorite of yours; it’s now one of ours too! I’ll make it again as soon as possible, probably experimenting with less sugar, more banana and more flour to make it a tad bigger (it felt a bit small in my 9×5 loaf pan) and a bit more banana-bread-like. Not that it’s not great as is – it is! Simply, I can’t help playing with things and trying out variations. :)
        Thank you, Celine, for sharing that great recipe!

        • Celine says:

          you can covet my bananas, because they are indeed quite large. insert bad puns and that’s what she said jokes here.
          12 g of baking powder represents 1 scant tablespoon, a little over 2 1/2 teaspoons.
          I’m confused about the pan size though, since I wrote to use an 8 x 4 in the instructions.

          thanks for making this and for the feedback Josiane!

          • Josiane says:

            Sorry, sweetie pie, I should have said I knew you called for an 8×4 one and I made it in a 9×5 one because that’s the only loaf pan I have. So I was aware the cake would spread out all over the place (you know how they are, those cakes – even worse than teenagers…), and I was simply saying that while I’d be playing with it anyways next time I make it, I’d also beef it up a bit (you know, just the way some parents would tell a teenager “you want all that space for yourself? grow up, get your own house, and you’ll get to use all the space you want!”). :)

            Bonne fin de semaine, ma belle! *mwah*

            • Celine says:

              gotcha! and whew. I thought I had typo’d or something. cakes are worse than teenagers? haven’t had one talk back. yet. (brownies did, though.)

  • Luciana says:

    This combo sounds really good. I have everything in my pantry/freezer because I’m still a food hoarder!

    I think I mostly hated marmalade because I was always expecting it to be apricot preserves. I always hoped that black gum drop would be grape and not licorice, too. Now I just don’t trust gum drops. Not one bit.

    • Celine says:

      the smuckers (I almost typed “suckers”) one is pretty close to apricot jam, if you ever want to give it a try. I like that it’s free of refined sugars and fake sweeteners.

      black gum drop? I need to GTS. you don’t like licorice?

      • Luciana says:

        Black licorice is what I imagine death and suffering tastes like. I adore fennel, though. Go figure.

        • Celine says:

          I love fennel but anise on the other hand tastes like what I imagine that other word with letters such as a, n, insert some other letter here, s does.

  • This bread sounds delicious, and so does the marmalade! I grew up loving orange marmalade, which probably had to do with the fact that I’m British, and as such I have a grandmother who served me scones with marmalade and clotted cream. I’ve always wanted to make my own marmalade, I’ll have to get to that someday..