This Black Garlic Aioli has sweetness and complexity, a profile reminding of complex sauces and condiments you get with meat or bread in a really good restaurant. Yet it’s super quick to make once you have the black garlic. Even more so if you have a stick blender.
Why You Want to Make This
I’m sure you all know Aioli and, since you clicked on this post either heard of Black Garlic, have it at home or are simply intrigued.
I do love Aioli in all versions and will soon have a post coming up with multiple of them. It is and remains my favourite condiment. This Black Garlic Aioli takes it to a whole new level. It adds the sweetness and umami flavours of black garlic, reminding me of dried fruit, liquorice and balsamic vinegar with caramelised notes.
It goes fantastically with with pretty much anything you’d use Aioli for, but is a triumph on burgers or steak. I do love dipping sweet potato fries into it as well, or use it on an amazing leftover chicken sandwich.
And the best thing? Once you have black garlic, it takes just 5 minutes to make and is so much better than any shop bought Aioli. Not that you’d find Black garlic Aioli in shops. Yet.
How to make Black Garlic?
I had made black garlic over the last 40 days, by simply keeping it, each bulb wrapped in first cling film then aluminium foil, in a rice cooker, set to warm. Keep it in a well aired room (in my case the utility room with an open window), so the intense garlic smell over the first week or so can escape. Or just embrace it. We all love garlic after all, don’t we?
Black Garlic makes pretty much everything better with its intense umami-sweet-fruity, slightly liquorice flavour, so it lends itself fantastic for one of my favourite condiments, which is aioli.
I have since used it in my Black Garlic Cashew Ranch Dressing, the Black Garlic Mushroom Salad. Do try that one! The combination of Berries and Mushrooms may sound odd, but works wonderfully due to the sweet element of the Black Garlic pulling it together. Black Garlic Chicken anyone? Or Black Garlic Butter?
Black Garlic, of course. I’ve used anything between 6 and 10 cloves, depending on how strong you want the flavour to be. For, say a platter of crudites I’d use less, for Burger or Steak, where it has to stand up against strong smoke and meat flavours, use more.
Fresh Garlic – I feel, while you could leave it out, it adds harmonious balance and the distinct Aioli flavour in the background, while it supports the Black garlic to really shine.
Since the black garlic is very sweet, balsamic vinegar complements it perfectly with its fruity notes. I felt it needed a more acidic counterpoint, to lift it, hence the addition of lemon zest and juice.
While the herbs are optional, I urge you to try fresh dill, as it’s very fresh version of anise flavour goes perfect with the liquorice notes of black garlic and takes this to a whole different level. The parsley adds minerality, to balance both sweetness and umami. You could use dried, but personal I always miss the freshness when I do.
For oil you could use ¼ cup of a very mild olive oil instead of part of the neutral oil (I’m using Grapeseed oil), but don’t replace it all with olive oil, as it tends to get bitter when used for mayonnaise.
And a fresh egg of course. This emulsifies the Aioli together with the mustard.
Liquid Smoke – This one is optional. I used it mainly for my Black Garlic Aioli Burger, but it would be fantastic with anything grilled, as it emphasizes the BBQ notes.
I’m using a stick blender since about 30 years and literally the same one since all this time. I have a very old version of the ESGE Magic Wand (Not Hitachi mind you…just in case your mind wandered…), which still works fabulously. But this method should work with any stick blender, as the secret is how the oil is incorporated.
Using a slim jar or container that just fits the stick blenders head with very little room to spare on the sides, you add your egg, mustard and lemon juice at the bottom, then top it with all of the oil. Gently lower your blender head, equipped with the whisking disc, all the way down, so it covers the egg. Switch it on at full speed and do not move it for a few seconds. You will see mayonnaise forming right away at the bottom. Keep it still until the white mass doesn’t expand upwards further, then gently tip your blender into a diagonal, and very slowly move it upwards.
This method will do the same as you would do by hand: Incorporate the oil in a thin stream, by creating a vortex that pulls it slowly into the egg, emulsifying it in the process. The trick lies in the waiting time before moving the blender, to give it enough time to pull in the oil until it reaches no more. Once you’ve pulled it all the way up, most of the oil will be incorporated and you will have a firm and very stable mayonnaise.
Mash your garlic and black garlic or chop it, chop your herbs roughly and add all of them with some salt and pepper to your mayonnaise. Blend again with the pureeing attachment, to create a smooth and delicious Black garlic Aioli.
How to use it?
Now this is not low calorie by any means, but due to its intense flavour, very little goes a long way.
You can of course vary the black garlic vs raw garlic content, to fit your taste.
The uses of this Black Garlic Aioli are endless. Starting from an addictive dip for a crudité platter over a condiment for grilled steak or roast chicken to elaborate sandwiches that embrace its depth by adding, say gruyere, maybe serrano ham, some crunchy lettuce, and tomatoes or, if you’d like a veggie option, use sliced grilled vegetables instead. It goes particularly well with fried mushrooms. Or of course my all-time favourite: fresh sourdough bread, just dipped into it.
For a very different interpretation of “Black Garlic” check out my Black Garlic Pork Ramen. It uses literally burnt garlic, I kid you not. And it’s fabulous.
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?
If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.
Black Garlic Aioli
- 1 egg or 2 yolks
- ¾ cup neutral oil such as grapeseed
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 black garlic cloves mashed with a fork.
- 1 fresh garlic clove minced.
- ½ tsp kosher salt or more to taste
- Optional add-ins:
- 1 tbsp chopped dill or tarragon
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- If using a stick blender:Add Egg, then mustard, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and zest and liquid smoke if using, to a tall, slim container or jar, that just fits the head of your stick blender, with only a few millimeters on the side. Top with the oil. Lower your stick blender very staight into the mix, so it covers the egg. Switch it on and do not move it for several seconds, until mayonnaise has formed around it, came up a bit on the side and isn't moving further. Gently tip the blender and pull up slowly, until all the oild is incorporated and you have a firm and stable mayonnaise.Add the mashed or finely chopped fresh and black garlic and the chopped herbs, season with salt and pepper and blend again. Taste and season to your liking.
- If using a blenderor food processor: combine the egg (or yolks), balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, black garlic cloves, fresh garlic clove, liquid smoke if using, and kosher salt and pepper.
- Process the mixture on low speed until the ingredients are well combined.
- While the blender or food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the neutral oil. This should be done gradually to ensure the oil emulsifies with the other ingredients and creates a creamy aioli.
- Continue blending until the mixture thickens and reaches a mayonnaise-like consistency.
- Taste the aioli and adjust the seasoning by adding more salt if desired.
- If using, stir in the chopped dill or tarragon and parsley for additional flavours.
- Transfer the black garlic aioli to a jar or airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavours to meld together.
Alternatively use a high-speed stick blender equipped with a whipping disk, a high, narrow cup as shown in my pictures, add the liquid ingredients first, put the blender in, switch on high, don’t move for a few seconds, until you see the white mayonnaise forming, then tip it to a diagonal slightly and slowly pull it up. Move up and down until it’s perfectly emulsified.
Switch off blender, equip with a pureeing attachment, add the garlic, lemon zest, and, if using, herbs puree until well incorporated.
This is how I’m making any mayonnaise for many years now and it only failed me once, when I was using very cheap and strange eggs, that seemed to have no binding capacity.
If it feels too liquid, you can add another egg and repeat the process and you should have a very firm consistency. Be mindful though, as it tends to firm up in the fridge anyway, so you will likely not need it. Just as a note: In my pictures I had replaced ¼ cup of the grapeseed oil with a fruity olive oil. I liked the hint of bitterness it added to the otherwise very sweet flavour profile, but it depends very much on your taste and the type of olive oil you have. Handle with care, as it can get quickly overwhelming, which is why I decided to only mention neutral oil in this recipe. Serve the black garlic aioli as a dipping sauce, spread, or condiment with your favourite dishes.