Good question! I bet it’s as annoying as trying to get red velvet red, I hear you say…. Well it turns out that it might be easier than you think.
This weekend I decided to whip up some Harley-Davidson themed cupcakes to celebrate my return to the company – yaaaaayyyyyyyyyy (but that’s another story for a later date!), so as you’d imagine I decided to go for an orange, black and white theme.
Orange – fine, white – hmmm, that could probably do with another post too, black – not so easy. If you’ve ever tried colouring buttercream black before, you’d be forgiven for making the mistake of doing what I and I’m sure thousands of others have done, and adding the black colouring straight to the buttercream. What do you wind up with? A murky grey mess – perfect if you’re planning on making 50 Shades of Grey cakes no doubt, but not really what you’re after.
Well the secret ingredient in making black buttercream, is the very same one that makes red velvet so darn tricky – cocoa powder!
I decided to put the theory to the test this weekend, and went with a chocolate buttercream base to achieve a naturally dark colour first and then added in my black colouring (I’d always suggest paste colours over regular liquid colours for intensity and preventing your mixture from going runny).
So did it work?
Did it bollocks! Practically a whole pot of black colouring later and I still ended up with a cross between cement and something people grout their bathroom tiles with, so it looks like it’s back to the drawing board. In spite of my ‘grey is the new black because you can’t make bloody black buttercream’ the cupcakes still came out looking fab – but don’t just take my word for it
I guess in my quest for black buttercream I’m just going to have to experiment with more Harley cakes – I’m sure the folks in the office are going to be gutted…..
The Burly Baker x