Strawberry Balsamic Chocolates

All right, readers– it’s definitely been a while since my last post. Part of it I can attribute to computer issues– for some reason WordPress refused to allow me to upload photographs, and since I didn’t want to post without pictures I was basically unable to post anything for a while. And then I got out of the habit, which was unfortunate. But I’m back now, WordPress is cooperating, and I’ve got a bunch of new projects to tell you about! Starting with this one: chocolates!

I recently acquired a set of silicone half-sphere molds in various sizes, figuring I would use them to make some neat layered mousse desserts (you know, the kind that look like those models of the earth showing the crust, core, etc.). Well, I still haven’t done that, but in the meantime I figured that I could use them to make chocolates!

I broke out my immersion sous vide machine and tempered some dark chocolate (Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bars are the best!) using this very useful technique— annoyingly, my chocolate firmed up extremely quickly, making it a bit difficult to work with, but it was definitely tempered!

For the filling, I made a chocolate ganache and stirred in a big dollop of strawberry jam and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar– it tasted good, but to amp up the fruitiness I decided to make a strawberry-balsamic gel to pipe in as well. It was easy– I just brought more jam and vinegar to a boil and let it bubble away for a bit, then let it cool down again. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone I didn’t make it from scratch!

Once the chocolates were unmolded– some in full-size and some mini– I decorated them. For the larger chocolates I mixed gold luster dust with vodka to make a paint that I splattered over the tops, but for the minis I tried a technique I’d seen online to coat them in an even shimmer of luster dust– rather than paint them with brushes (which resulted in streaky coverage), I took a few spoonfuls of nonpariel sprinkles– the kind that look like tiny balls– and mixed them with a small spoonful of luster dust. I swished the chocolates around in the dust-coated sprinkles, which made a gorgeously even coat of shimmery color! It’s like magic!

The finished chocolates are beautiful and delicious, and have whetted my appetite for making more! So much so that I bought a set of polycarbonate molds (so much easier to work with than silicone), and have made a list of potential fillings, so keep an eye out for more chocolates in the future!

Strawberry Balsamic Chocolates

(adapted from Tara’s Multicultural Table)


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz (225g) dark chocolate, chopped
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup (85g) strawberry jam (if your jam is chunky, blitz it in a mini food processor to smooth it out)
  • 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter together until just steaming.
  • Add chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Then whisk into a smooth ganache.
  • Stir in salt, jam, and vinegar.
  • Let ganache cool to room temperature.


  • 1/3 cup (110g) strawberry jam (again, make sure it’s smooth)
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • In a small saucepan, stir together jam and vinegar and bring to a boil.
  • Let boil for 1-2 minutes.
  • Let cool to room temperature– it will thicken as it cools.

To assemble:

  • Temper 12 oz of dark chocolate.
  • Pour chocolate into molds and flip them to empty out the excess chocolate. Chill briefly to form shells.
  • Pipe a tiny amount of strawberry-balsamic gel into the bottom of each shell. Top with ganache.
  • Chill filled shells for 5 minutes.
  • Pour more tempered chocolate over the fillings and smooth over the top.
  • Chill for another 5 minutes, then unmold chocolates.
  • Feel free to decorate as desired.
  • Store in airtight containers.

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