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Any thoughts on how to add balsamic vinegar to chocolate without it lumping up?

I have been using a 25 year old high end balsamic with great results as far as taste goes,

however if I add a little more balsamic than I have been then it turns too thick to add to molds.

I imagine adding some fat content like butter or coconut milk would thin it and make it more workable. I have read about adding oil to chocolate, is there a trick to adding olive oil to chocolate for bars? Keep in mind that I am not making fillings or truffles, I need to have the chocolate set for bars in all the circumstances described above.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks beforehand,


Tags: add-ons, fillings, inclusions, techniques

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Have you tried dehydrating the vinegar and turning it into a powder?

I appreciate the suggestion, that might be something I will try, I have dehydrated things like sirracha so it should work fine with balsamic as well.

What about the possible options if I stick with the liquid version?

Is there a favorable thinner aside from butter that would not interfere with the flavor too much and will still make the bars set up?

Lastly, has anyone worked with olive oil as an inclusion?

Since canola oil supposedly works ok with blending chocolate one would think E.V olive oil should be fine, but it might have the same result as the balsamic I am using, it doesn't seize exactly but turns to a thick pudding if too much balsamic is added, it has some water content in it I imagine so maybe it does "seize".

Chocolate is not an emulsion, it's a suspension - there's little to no water in chocolate.

Adding water thickens/seizes the suspension.

Adding a fat that is liquid at room temperature reduces crystal formation in the chocolate as it cools, leading to chocolate that is soft, does not snap, and may not be as stable. (Anhydrous butter fat is added to chocolate in industrial production to make it more stable but I don't know about using it in small quantities in hand production.)

I can't see how adding the balsamic to dairy butter or olive oil will work. Maybe to cocoa butter. I know that many "raw" chocolate makers add agave syrup to their chocolate and agave syrup has a high water content and they are still able to temper the chocolate, but they are not adding any other form of fat other than cocoa butter. So that might work with you.

You want to make flavored, solid bars, right? Most people using ingredients like balsamic and olive oil are making ganaches and then covering them. You can do that in bar form - as Zotter does.

That is actually what I meant regarding the balsamic having some water content such as the agave you mention; and therefor makes the chocolate to thicken/seize. I am assuming that is what the issue is. De-hydrating and go from there seems to be the better option like you suggested.

Never heard of Zotter but will look them up.

Thank you for the input and taking the time, appreciate it.


Mattias -

This is one of the main reasons I started TheChocolateLife - "crowd sourcing" the answers to questions about chocolate in a forum that makes the questions and answers publicly available and searchable. The more people who contribute, the more valuable TheChocolateLife becomes for everyone - member or not.

:: Clay

And I appreciate your work here very much, it is the most comprehensive forum online.

I reduced the balsamic today and it worked much better, just reduce until enough water has evaporated, but not far enough so it get too thick.

Flavored E.V olive oils are next, any thoughts from members is much appreciated.

Keep in mind I am making bars, the previous answer from Clay might be the only way around including Olive oil since they would not set with the whole bar having Olive oil as an inclusion. 

This is a novice response, but if Lecithin is used to suspend some of the water and increase the flow of chocolate, would adding a touch of lecithin help your viscosity issue? I know there is plenty of research on how much lecithin to add & too much (I think greater than 0.5%) will begin to have a negative effect.

It may be worth a try.

I also have never thought of dehydrating liquids such as balsamic to get the flavor.  - This is brilliant!  Thank you for sharing.



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