Saturday, March 20, 2010

This sauce rocks my boat - caramelised balsamic

Here's an idea: use sauce as the knockout component of a dish.  Oh, the French have been doing it for decades?  Sorry if I'm a bit late to the party...

This caramelised balsamic sauce came about because I thought the fig and prosciutto I was serving for a starter was a bit plain on its own. Sure, there was also some mascarpone as well, but the plate lacked 'oomph'.  The sauce (with only 2 ingredients!) was the result.

Figs and prosciutto with Caramelised Balsamic
serves 2

2 ripe figs
2 thin slices prosciutto
4 tablespoons mascarpone

1/4 cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tblsp brown sugar

1.  Make the sauce by heating the vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until the sugar melts and the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
2.  Meanwhile, crisp the prosciutto by putting the slices on a baking tray and roasting in a 200 deg C oven for 5 minutes, or until brown and crunchy.  Remove from oven and break into large pieces.
3.  Halve the figs and place a fig on each plate with 2 tablespoons of mascarpone.  Scatter over the prosciutto. Spoon over the sauce in a modern, decorative manner.  Serve.

Ingredient shot.  You'll also need mascarpone, and brown sugar and balsamic vinegar (not shown, as they are not photogenic enough)

Looks impressive, non?

The flavour of the sauce is lovely - intense and sweet at the same time.  The texture of the dish is also great, with the softness of the figs and mascarpone complementing the shattering prosciutto shards.


  1. hi belle I love to cook balsamic and the funy thing is that I have posted a coffee balsamic sauce with ! Pierre

  2. This dish looks really nice. There is a wide variety of different things to eat.

    The first time I had caramelised balsamic was at an Italian restaurant in Melbourne. They served it with really crumbly parmigiano reggiano. Mmmm so good.

  3. Simple, yet delicious. I've been a cheat and often use balsamic syrup from the supermarket.

  4. Mmmm *drools*

    You know.. I haven't had figs yet. This looks delicious though

  5. Actually.. Sctratch that thought, I have but only dried ones. I have yet to try the fresh ones..

  6. I love how the salad is so simple to make but definitely packs a punch in terms of flavour! Thanks for sharing Bell - as always so classy the presentation!

  7. What a perfect entrée. I hope I can make this before figs disappear for another season!

  8. Oui oui - your presentation rocks The Titanic!

  9. Caramelised balsamic all the way....I prefer it to just regular balsamic.

    What a great idea for a dish..simple, but nice clean flavours :)

  10. Wow, love the presentation - you really have an eye for it! The dish itself sounds like an amazing combo too :)

  11. i love fig and bacon and blue cheese together.... :P i can imagine the balsamic sauce will make it even more amazing! must try one day :P

  12. Now I know what to do with my figs and my lovely balsamic.

  13. This is such a lovely way to serve figs!!

  14. Ooh Belle I do this too! I did it when I ran out of the Pukara estate caramelised balsamic. It also works really well in a balsamic reduction :)

  15. Diggin the simplicity here. So visually appetizing! Figs are being used so much recently being in season.

    I recently ate out and had whole barramundi served with poached figs and feta

  16. Looks refreshingly delicious. I would love to try the caramelised balsamic vinegar. I love that vinegar...especally with dumplings.

  17. wow. that is beautiful! totally rivals the "my kitchen rules" crowd. ;P

  18. i do love figs but find that they're just so expensive to cook with!

  19. God, I love figs soooo much it's ridiculous, and that is a perfect way to showcase their lusciousness

  20. hi Everyone - sorry I'm late with the comments again...
    Strangely, I've suddenly noticed bottles of caramelised balsamic in the shops - given its fantastic flavour, no wonder they've bottled.
    I will definitely have to try it with fish like Pierre and Adrian suggested.
    By the way: sauce, glaze, reduction - whatever. It's a classy accompaniment to a dish no matter what you call it :P