I am making my daughter's wedding cake, and the frosting needs to be black. I am planning on making it chocolate first, but my question is, how much powdered food coloring do I use? Does anyone have any any experience with black buttercream? Any tips or suggestions?
No experience with black buttercream, but I recently colored some fondant black. A pastry chef friend warned black color leaves an aftertaste, that it takes considerably more dye (1-2 times more) to make a good black than other colors, so the aftertaste will be an issue.
I would recommend you test color a full batch of bc, the apply it to a test cake of the flavor you intend to bake--then eat the test cake. That way you will see whether the color works, and you will know how it's tastes.
Making the icing chocolate is for sure your best beginning. The icing will be brown but have a good start to black. Norcalhiker is right about an aftertaste, the more color you use the worse it will be. I have never been able to get a good dark black or red color from powdered color with the exception of Crystal Colors. They are an all-natural color that guarantees you get the color you see in the container. However, the darker the color the more you use but I have had the best results for a darker color with no aftertaste with it. They don't have a black, only a charcoal. They give directions on how to mix it with different icings on this page: http://www.countrykitchensa.com/shop/ingredients-icing-colors-flavors/charcoal-crystal-color/46/535/1716/630119. No matter what route you take, I think testing your bc would be the best bet. You don't want to have the wrong thing for such an important occasion.
Forgot to say, I have used Americolor black and not had an aftertaste when I started with chocolate icing. It depends on how dark your chocolate icing is to determine how much color you will need.