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Nov 16, 2010 07:41 PM

What can I do with Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar?

Hi Everyone!
I've been a voyeur for a while of this wonderful site, but I finally joined today :)

I have a lovely bottle of Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar that I bought in a local Italian market. Besides using it over ice cream, I'm stumped over what to do with it.

I'm really looking to use it in a savory way - I'm sure there has to be some really creative ways to use it......... any ideas? I've used a bit in a homestyle Chilli I made but it just gets lost in all the spiciness.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated :)


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  1. strawberries?
    ps, love your mojo!

    finally, welcome to chowhound!

    1 Reply
    1. re: alkapal

      Thanks, alapal :) for the welcome and mojo compliment. I used to make it for Nocha Buena for a houseful of my Cuban ex's family - and everybody thought it was great. It's powerful stuff!!

      Strawberries would definitely go with the chocolate balsamic. I've had it over strawberry ice cream - very yummy!

      I was thinking it would make a nice sauce flavoring - maybe with pork.
      I just haven't come up with a definitive, concrete idea of how to put it together. I'm thinking chillies should be in there somewhere too....

    2. I would give this a try -

      A dressing for a jicama slaw / salad. Use lime, cumin, salt, pepper, evoo. For the veggies, I'd use jicama, green onion, seeded jalapenos, perhaps a tiny bit of cabbage, and cilantro. Sesame seeds, and maybe some slivered nuts would be a great topping. If you want to get crazy, add a TINY pinch of cinnamon - only barely enough for someone to say "what is that other taste in there?" Go ahead and call it enselada mole, and I'll let you know where to send the residual checks to.

      Alkapal - definitely strawberries. Perhaps with some kind of sorbet. I'm feeeling coconut would be nice if you could find it. Ice cream as well. Chocolate balsamic...I might have to get me somma that. I have a nice tangerine balsamic that is great for salad dressings.

      2 Replies
      1. re: gordeaux

        The salad sounds interesting. I like jimica but not sure the chocolate flavor and cilantro would go together? I'll have to experiment. The slivered nuts sound like a good compliment - maybe a slaw topped with some slivers of pork and toasted almonds?? And chillies for a kick. I like the cabbage idea.

        Thanks for the input. I haven't tried it on coconut ice cream but that's a great idea. It's one of my favorites.

        I also have a bottle (almost empty :( ) of strawberry balsamic and I can say it's fabulous! I use it in salad dressings with a little sherry vinegar and it really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes. I bought it at the same store as the chocolate balsamic - I hope they still carry the strawberry... I'll have to give them a visit. It's become a staple in my salad dressings.

        1. re: TropiChef

          Choc and cilantro works well on my tongue, but that's me. if you do go with the salad type thing, dress a little of your salad, and try a few forkfulls with some cilantro leaf before commiting to adding it to the whole salad.

      2. Welcome to Chowohound ... as a poster.

        have no idea why this popped to mind and somehow sounds good to me ... a marinated mushroom salad, maybe using some meatier mushrooms.

        Maybe as a dressing for a fruit salad? There's a mention on the web of Blood Orange Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. It would seem that would go nicely on a strawberry and orange salad.

        Other dressing ideas from that site
        French Roasted Walnut Oil and Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (on spinach salad?)
        Smokey Chipotle Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (for a mixed bean salad?)

        I'm also thinking it would be nice drizzled on certain cheeses ... maybe smoked cheeses. Not smoked, but there is this bright orange hard Dutch goat cheese ... smoething that begins with the letter "G". Again, have no clue why, but I think it might have an affinity with this.

        A porl marinade sounded good and I found a recipe for that

        Chocolate Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

        Added to baked beans ... or would that toughen the beans? If not, you could also throw in some chopped chile.

        There is a recipe out on the web for a mole which might give you inspiration

        Goat cheese ravioli dressed with butter and dressed with a few drops of the vinegar?

        Glazed meatloaf maybe using some stout in the glaze? You could incorporate the chile into the meatloaf.

        What does it taste like? Is the chocolate flavor strong?

        4 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          Thanks so much for those sugestions I like the tenderloin idea though would probably use chillies in place of rosemary.... and maybe some cumin.

          I like the idea of using it in a ravioli sauce....... that's definitely got my creative juices flowing. I tried adding it to home-style chilli with beans but it just got lost in all those beans and sauce. But a bean salad - I think that would work nicely.

          The salad ideas are great - blood orange olive oil?? Sounds wonderful! Where can I get that?

          The flavor of the vinegar is fairly acidic but the chocolate flavor is definitely there. I'm not sure I would say strong - but you definitely know it's chocolate. The vinegar is acidic though and that is what's had me stumped. It needs a little toning down.

          1. re: TropiChef

            Sciabica & Sons is one of my favorite olive oil vendors I buy their oils from Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, but you can order online

            I'm not a fan of fruit-flavored olive oils usually, but Sciabica uses equisite fresh fruits and they are lovely. They don't have blood orange, but their orange is very good ... the lemon is WONDERFUL.

            Gee, an aside. I've been away from SF for a few months and just read on the website that the father, Joseph Sciabica died in October. That's really sad. He was such a nice guy. Into his 90's he was picking figs from the tree in the backyard and bringing them to the market with the olive oil.

          2. re: rworange

            And the idea of incorporating mushrooms sounds great too....... maybe into a ravioli with pork and a little cheese..........

            1. re: TropiChef

              Yeah, you either need an assertive meat to stand up to it or a creamy cheese like goat or ricotta to tone it down. That's why I somehow thing it would work well with a smoked cheese.

          3. i have some chocolate infused balsamic too! i have a few things i love doing with it:

            as a simple sauce for meats (especially steak and pork) that ive used a rub of instant espresso powder, cocoa, chili powder, salt, and pepper on.

            dipping fruit into it is always a good idea (especially strawberries)

            i love it as a topping for baked goods (again, especially fruit-filled pastries), but it also works well with brownies and blondies

            one of my favorites is combining it with ice cream. ive used it both as a sauce (for vanilla, chocolate, and coffee ice creams) and as a mix in (for strawberry and strawberry cheesecake ice creams)

            i also have a good recipe for chocolate pasta dough if you wanted to give that a try. thats another way i like to use it!

            2 Replies
            1. re: mattstolz

              Thanks, I'm so glad to know someone who has used it before. The idea of combining with coffee is wonderful. Do you use it on steaks or roasts? How do you make the sauce? I know you can't heat the balsamic much or it loses its nuanced flavor.
              So far I'm liking the pork, mushrooms and ravioli ideas a lot.

              Desserts I've used on- but I really like the idea of cheese cake with maybe a strawberry or raspberry topping - which is always a bit to rich for me. That may be nice to try with it.

              Thx everyone for the wonderful suggestions...... will let you know what I come up with :)

              The chocolate pasta sounds super. I'd love the recipe. How do you serve it??

              1. re: TropiChef

                for the pasta, i basically make it the same as a normal pasta (well method, plenty of yolks) and just replace some of the flour with cocoa.

                as far as combining it with coffee, i live by myself so its normally steaks. but it would work just as well as a sauce over a nice thick slice from a roast! i normally cook the rubbed steak in a pan, then deglaze with the coffee, add some salt, pepper, chili flakes, and maybe some pomegranate seeds or dried cherries, let it reduce a little, then stir in the balsamic for the last minute or so. its delicious!

                as for the fruit desserts, i suggest a strawberry/balsamic ice cream!

            2. A salad of arugula, roasted orange segments, thinly sliced sweet onion such as Vidalia or similar and ribbons of a salty ham like proscuitto would work well with the chocolate vinegar