Making black garlic, per these instructions from Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla's new cookbook, Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, is a simple, hands-off process. Only note that your neighbors may leave notes inquiring about the pervasive aroma. Say Burns and Balla, "Holding garlic at constant temperature of 130°F/55°C for 2 to 3 weeks renders the cloves as black as tar. All of the characteristic sharpness disappears and is replaced with a molasses-like sweetness and an aroma reminiscent of licorice. As the garlic is blackening it can be somewhat fragrant. This is one of many projects that have yielded a visit from a manager at the restaurant next to ours to ask, "What is the smell wafting through the walls?"
This garlic is used in the Black Garlic Vinaigrette, a component of their Smoked Potatoes with Ramp Mayonnaise.
- Whole unpeeled garlic heads
If using a dehydrator, wrap the garlic heads in plastic wrap. This traps humidity and prevents the garlic from drying out. Then wrap the heads in several layers of aluminum foil. Hold at 130°F/55°C until the heads are soft and black, about 3 weeks.
If using a rice warmer or slow cooker, set it to the warm setting (not the cook setting), place the whole garlic heads in the unit, and leave on until the cloves are soft and black, about 2 weeks
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Peel the cloves before using.
Dehydrator, rice warmer, or slow cooker