Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar

September 23rd, 2010

I used to love eating bread with olive oil and dukkah, although after going to the Hunter Valley last year, I have a new appreciation for caramelised balsamic vinegar – with dukkah and olive oil. It’s too good to go past. I could just eat bread with oil, caramelised balsamic and dukkah as a meal.

Caramelised balsamic vinegar is often slapped with quite a high price tag, although I’ll prove to you how easy it is to make – using the balsamic vinegar in your cupboard. I’m sure nicer balsamic vinegars make nicer caramelised balsamic vinegar, although I’ve used whatever’s lying around – which is normally whatever is a good price.

And the best bread to eat with it has to be my favourite – ciabatta. I promise to post the lovely (and easy) ciabatta bread Nick has made very soon.

See my recipe for dukkah here.

Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar

Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert
Depending on the brand of balsamic vinegar, you may need to add more sugar.

Makes 125-150ml

250ml balsamic vinegar
3-6 tablespoons caster sugar
2-4 tablespoons brown sugar

The smell of the cooking balsamic vinegar can be quite strong, so don’t breathe in the vapours too deeply. You may want a window open in your kitchen.

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat on low/medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to high until boiling and cook for 5-10minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly (it should reduce by about half). Test it by placing a small amount on a cold spoon and see how the mixture thickens with cooking. It should start to become darker as it thickens and run on the spoon less easily. This is a good opportunity to test it for your desired sweetness. It will thicken further upon cooling – although it will still taste lovely.

Enjoy by dunking a nice piece of ciabatta bread into olive oil then the caramelised balsamic vinegar. If you have dukkah, dip the coated bread into the dukkah. Use instead of balsamic vinegar as part of salad dressings.


  1. This is totally a brand new way of appreciating bread. Seems very delicious and can’t wait to give it a try 🙂

    Sawadee from bangkok,

  2. Barbara says:

    Delicious, Anita.
    I’ve reduced balsamic, but never added the sugar. Must make it thick and delightful.

  3. So agree about the price tag for caramelised balsamic and this is similar to how I make it too although I only use brown sugar. Balsamic glaze is also very nice and I like using that too 🙂

  4. Melinda says:

    It’s that easy? I’ve tasted caramelised balsamic vinegar before but don’t buy it because of the price. Guess what I’ll be cooking this weekend? LOL

    I’ve always bought dukkah before, so I’ll be making yours up as well. Yum!

  5. I never thought of caramelising balsamic vinegar but what a great idea! The sauce consistency looks a lot like the Asian kecap manis!

  6. Isabella says:

    The caramelised balsamic looks like it would go down a treat with the ciabatta bread. I can’t wait until you post the recipe for that as well.
    I really enjoy reading your blog and even though I don’t leave a comment for each new post I certainly read them all and tell all my friends about the wonderful things you make and write about. Keep up the good work!!!!

  7. Mother-in-law says:

    Eat your hearts out, fellow followers of LeaveRoomForDessert! I’ve just had the pleasure of turning my kitchen over to Anita and Nick for a whole week! The taste-buds rejoiced as one delightful meal followed another onto the table.
    We had the ciabatta and caramelised balsamic vinegar FOUR times in one week. I’m totally hooked!
    Such welcome guests

  8. Rosa says:

    A wonderful idea! That must taste great on salads, meat and with bread.



  9. Love oil and vinegar too. I don’t love how they rarely have gluten free bread to dip it in, even at 5 star restraunts. I just use the spoon as there’s no way I’m missing out!

  10. Sarah says:

    Jeremy tried this recipe out immediately and it was a big hit! Simple but really special. Good work!

  11. Prudence says:

    Love caramelised balsamic, but hate the price! I’ll be making my own from now on. 🙂 Thank you for a simple recipe.

  12. Riley says:

    Had bruschetta at a restaurant recently and the caramelised balsamic dribbled over made it absolutely amazing. Will be serving a similar treat for Christmas. Can this dressing be made a few days in advance and stored(if so whats the best storage) or is it a “straight from the pan to table recipe”?

  13. Judy says:

    Just did a big ‘Autumn’ clean of the pantry and found THREE bottles of balsamic vinegar so today I’m giving your recipe a try.

  14. Meg says:

    Easy and tastes better than the expensive one. Added some to a cream sauce and had a fancy addition to roast chicken breasts. Thanks for a great blog and recipes.

  15. Gib says:

    Made this today. Worked out great. I didn’t put quite as much sugar as I didn’t want it too sweet.

  16. Peta says:

    Dumb question, but do you store the vinegar in the fridge or the cupboard after you have caramelised it?

  17. Anita says:

    Hi Peta
    I tend to leave it in the cupboard. I’m not sure how long it would last (if for some reason it was not eaten), although I would expect it to last a year or more.

  18. maz says:

    this will be great for xmas presents… I have to find some bottles 🙂

  19. LSmith says:

    Just prepared double batch and is now resting overnight. Just the speed of whisking….I was up to 8, down to 2 on my kitchenaid for ten minutes! Seems to have done the trick, just hope it was at ok speeds?!??!! Ha
    looking forward to tomorrow, seeing how it turns out now! Thanks

  20. LSmith says:

    ^^^^^was meant to be posted on ciabatta bread, not this page!! Could someone please edit if possible. Thank you

  21. Rae Heywood says:

    Hi Anita my friend & I make your caramlised balsamic vinegar all the time once tried we wont use anything else so DELISH. PS hubby so luvs it also.

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