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Soon, I'll be serving garlic bread, but I would like to add something to the garlic-butter, to make it darker (gray or black). It should look like lead.

So far, I've found two ideas: - add dark olives - add caviar

I don't like the idea of the olives because it'll be served with scallops in cheese sauce and some mushrooms. I don't think the taste of olives will fit well. The idea of adding caviar is better, but expensive, or other black fish eggs are not easily available here.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

If you just want to change the color - just some black food coloring should be fine.

If you can't find it in a store locally, you can always see if a bakery that does cakes will give you just a tiny bit or if they'll blend a few colors to make a dark gray.

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Squid ink is used to make black pasta, no reason it wouldn't work with butter. Good fishmongers should be able to source it for you.

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+1 I knew there was something like that for black pasta and I just couldn't remember what it was. – rfusca Dec 6 '11 at 18:32
Squid ink is also used to make a Spanish dish called "arroz negro" which is black rice. – MissesBrown Dec 6 '11 at 19:42
also, you might find the squid ink referenced as "nero di sepia", at least in italian packages of pasta. – JoséNunoFerreira Dec 7 '11 at 17:27

Ground up black sesame seeds. The flavor is relatively mild, and I think it would add a nice subtle nuttiness that should accentuate your other flavors.

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If you can procure it (or make it yourself), why not just use black garlic?

Black garlic Licensing information for this image is available here.

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Well, I like the idea and I would try it, but I have to wait 40 days, while I'll need that butter on NYE (so in 20 days). – Mien Dec 8 '11 at 9:09
  • Nigella seeds (love-in-a-mist seeds) may help.
  • Although you don't want to use black olive, mixing it with some oregano or some other spices may balance the taste.
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You can also change the color by adding dark mushroom gills. Portabella mushroom gills might give the butter a nice dark color without adding another flavor. (Many recipes recommend scooping out the gills of portabella mushrooms to avoid darkening the food.)

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I wouldn't do that. I don't remove the gills, and my food gets the appearance of concrete, not lead. It is too light and slightly brown in color. – rumtscho Dec 7 '11 at 23:40

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