Melisa Zimmerman! It’s all your fault!
One night we had a ladies get together at my friend Melisa’s house. Melisa is my bud..you know the one I played Iron Chef with at the restaurant supply store?
Melisa is also my baker friend who makes amazing sweets, cakes and other yummy things.
And she introduced me to Chocolate Balsamic.
We had it at her house that night drizzled over pound cake, strawberries and capped off with a mound of whipped cream. Oh it was yummy. The subtle bite of the vinegar that mellowed out the sweetness that makes balsamic so delicious.
I asked her where she had found the dark burgundy bottle of goodness and ..then she told me.
Now, I’m all about ordering on the internet. There’s nothing like Christmas and it’s free delivery period and that time when you hear the brown truck honk and packages show up on your doorstep, wrapped and perfect.
But it was summer, and there was no free delivery…so I searched around, found several recipes and tweaked things a bit to become this.
Start out with two pans. Make the picture of them as out of focus as you can get it.
To begin, measure out two cups of balsamic vinegar. In my reading, I found out that while true aged and lovely balsamic vinegar is uncomparable, it’s also super pricey, and you can mimic it in a sense by reducing cheaper versions down on the stove slowly.
So take your two cups of balsamic, pour it in one of your saucepans and put it over medium- low heat.
Bring it to a simmer, and let it simmer on low, stirring it off often until it reduces down to a thicker syrup. This could be 15-20 minutes. You will know it’s ready when it “coats the back of a spoon” or you can dip a spoon it it and it won’t have streaks where it runs off the back side of the spoon.
Now take your second pot and add one cup of water to it along with 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
Add in 1/2 cup of cocoa.
Add a pinch of salt and place over medium heat just until it begins to bubble. Reduce it down to simmer and let it go until it gets thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes.
Add a teaspoon and one half or vanilla to the mixture and whisk it up…no picture…OOPS!
Then add the vinegar reduction into the chocolate mixture and whisk it all together making sure it’s nice and smooth.
Keep it away from the heat at this point and let it cool a bit.
Then take whatever you plan on storing it in…pour it in. I like a pretty decanter of sorts…like something you’d use for salad dressing.
That night, we scattered some fresh berries on a plate. Then we scooped mini-spheres of ice cream around them.
Then we drizzled it with our freshly made chocolate balsamic.
The tang of the vinegar cuts through the sweetness of the ice cream and it compliments the berries so well.
Add pound cake for even more soaked in deliciousness. Baste a pork loin as you roast it or brush butternut squash or carrots with it as you roast them.
Jar up some of this liquid dark gold and give it as presents to your favorite foodie this Christmas.