Monday, March 12, 2012

Simple Balsamic Reduction

Warning:  This recipe will make your entire house smell like balsamic vinegar for a good couple of days.  I did not have a problem with this (and actually liked it, myself), but it gave my husband a headache to the point he set up box fans throughout the house and left until the smell had completely vanished.

What an introduction, right?!  I bet everyone will want to make a nice balsamic reduction now!  Oh well, you can't say I didn't warn you.

A balsamic reduction is just a fancy way to say "sweet balsamic vinegar sauce."  It's simple to make with just two ingredients (vinegar and sugar) and absolutely delicious on a number of different things.  I use a balsamic reduction on savory foods like bruschetta and chicken pasta dishes and as a sauce for desserts like chocolate cake, ice cream, fresh fruit (berries are especially nice), and cheesecake.

Thick and delicious balsamic reduction sauce
Simple Balsamic Reduction


1 bottle of (good) balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)

- In a sauce pan over high heat (8 or 9 on a dial), pour in the entire bottle of balsamic vinegar and whisk until it begins to boil

- Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium (about 4 on a dial) and whisk in sugar
   Note:  As I mentioned above, the sugar is to taste.  I personally like a full 3 tablespoons in mine, but I've come across so many reduction recipes that vary between 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, all the way up to 4 tablespoons, so try different measurements and see which amount works best for you!
- Continue whisking until the vinegar is reduced by half and becomes a thick syrup (coats the back of a spoon)
- Once it reduces by half, turn off the burner and let the reduction cool

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