Last night, we made a salad of beets with hazelnuts and a balsamic reduction. The recipe called for reducing a cup of balsamic to 1/3 cup of syrup, so we attempted to follow the instructions. What we got instead was half a cup of "balsamic caramel". It was so thick that it almost wouldn't come off of a spoon at all. Lifting a spoon out of it made for a long string of balsamic that became hair thin as you lifted the spoon higher but would not break. (We really should have just paid attention to the consistency of the syrup rather than trying to follow the recipe and reduce it to 1/3 cup.) We left it out overnight in the measuring cup with the spoon in it and it's hardened nicely, with the spoon stuck into it to the point that you can lift it by the spoon, turn it upside down, etc. (We really should have just paid attention to the consistency of the syrup rather than trying to follow the recipe and reduce it to 1/3 cup.)
I've made balsamic syrups before but I've never taken one this far. It seems to me that there might be some interesting uses for this hardened balsamic - it's intensely savory with a bitter edge - although you'd almost have to powder it. Any decent sized pieces might pull fillings out of teeth.
"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr