Black Bean Burgers

I still have one more post to put up with pictures from my trip to Europe, but first a little detour back into recipe-land. Since it is Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer I thought a burger recipe was fitting. While it's not a real burger, this still a great meal idea to keep in your back pocket for days when meat is not on the menu. I saw this recipe recently while watching an episode of America's Test Kitchen online and I knew I had to make it soon. 

I really like a good veggie/bean burger and so was very happy to see that this recipe was actually quite simple and used ingredients that I almost always have on hand.  So often it seems that veggie burgers have a million ingredients, several of which I don't usually keep at home so I was happy about this.  All I had to do was soak a pot of beans and make a quick stop to the store to pick up some cilantro and I was all set to whip up a batch of these delicious and versatile black bean burgers. If you're looking for a simple recipe to cure that (veggie) burger craving give this one a try. It's sure to be a winner, it certainly was in my house. 

These burgers have good flavor and a good texture. They did not turn out "mushy" like so many veggie burgers, but were nice and firm and held together well. I also made a little chipotle yogurt sauce using canned chipotles in adobo mixed with a little Greek yogurt. You can always use mayo instead of the yogurt, that is what they did on the show. I topped the burgers with this sauce and a few slices of avocado and it was delicious. I think a  nice slice of cheddar cheese would also be wonderful. 

These burgers are great to make ahead for a quick meal when you don't have a lot of time to cook. Full of spices and aromatics, the prep work is done so you don't need to spend time chopping and adding flavor on a busy night. Just grab a pre-made patty and you're set. Great as a burger, but also in a wrap, on a tortilla, broken into chunks and mixed with a little yogurt or sour cream as a black bean version of chicken salad, or used to top a pizza. These little guys are versatile and delicious, if you've never made a black bean burger before, this is the place to start. 

 
 

Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, or 4 1/2 ounces dried black beans boiled until tender (about 1 1/2 cups total, cooked)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon coarse cornmeal
  • Cheese, avocado, sprouts for topping (optional)

Directions
Line a baking sheet with a couple of layers of paper towels. Drain and rinse black beans lay in an even layer on the paper towels. Set aside to dry for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg. Add the flour and whisk until no more lumps are visible.  Add the scallions, cilantro, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Set aside. 

Place the bread crumbs, cornmeal, and beans in a food processor. Pulse 5-6 times until a coarse mixture forms. It should be fairly dry. Add the bean mixture to the bowl with the egg mixture. Stir to combine everything evenly. It will be fairly wet. 

Place bean mixture in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours, to firm up. When ready to form patties, shape mixture into 4 uniform size round patties of even thickness. 

Heat a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Place the patties in the frying pan and cook on one side until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Flip patties with a spatula and cook on second side for another 6-8 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan. Serve with your favorite toppings. 

Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice

This may not look like a very exciting recipe to some people, but honestly it's one of my favorites. Over the last couple of years I have grown to absolutely love brown rice. It is extremely healthy, it's super versatile and I think it's absolutely delicious. If you've ever looked up directions on how to make brown rice, you may have noticed that there are so many different methods. Each with it's own ratio of water to rice. Now I'm sure most of them will turn out a fine batch of brown rice, I personally am not too picky as long as it's cooked through. However, once I found this recipe I never turned back. Not only does it turn out a perfect pan of brown rice every time, it also makes a really nice big batch so I can have it on hand all week long. This is the only recipe I ever use so I wanted to share it in case anyone else is looking for a foolproof method of cooking brown rice. Well look no further, this is it. 

My favorite part of this recipe is the fact that it's baked in the oven, not cooked on the stovetop. This means I throw it in the oven and can completely forget about it for the next hour. It does take the whole hour to cook, so if you need something at the last minute, this isn't going to work. But you only need to think ahead a little bit and you can have fresh, perfectly cooked brown rice on the table for dinner. 

The actual hands on time in this recipe is so minimal making it super easy and quick to throw together. You can get the rest of your meal ready while it cooks, or get a couple of chores done, whatever. I also make this rice ahead a lot so that it will be ready for me when I need it. Sprinkled with a little water for moisture and zapped in the microwave for a couple of seconds and it's pretty much as good as new! If you couldn't already tell, I highly recommend adding this simple recipe to your repertoire. I can guarantee that you'll use it over and over again.  

Foolproof Oven-Baked Brown Rice

Adapted from 

A Veggie Venture

, originally from Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups long-, medium- or short-grain brown rice
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread rice in 8-inch square baking dish or similar size casserole dish with lid. Add salt and give it a quick mix. 

Bring water and butter or oil to boil; once boiling, immediately pour water over rice. Alternatively, bring a kettle to boil. Once boiling, measure out 2 1/3 cup and pour over rice. Cover baking dish tightly with a layer of aluminum foil or place lid on top of casserole dish and place in oven. Bake rice 1 hour, until tender.

Remove baking dish from oven and uncover. Fluff rice with dinner fork, then recover dish and let rice stand 5 minutes. Uncover and let rice stand 5 minutes longer; serve. 

Lighter Carrot Cake

I know Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I have one last recipe to share. This year on Thanksgiving I just felt like baking a carrot cake. I'm not really sure why, but it just sounded good to me. I've never made one before, and it definitley isn't on the top of my list of favorite cakes, but that doesn't at all mean I don't love a good carrot cake, I just like a lot of other cakes a little more! But this year a simple one layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and walnuts was calling my name.

I did some searching for a good recipe and ended up going with America's Test Kitchen recipe for lighter carrot cake. Since I don't have a go-to carrot cake recipe yet I figured why not just go with the slightly healthier version since I probably wouldn't notice the difference anyway. And I didn't. There was nothing about this cake that would have made me think that it was trying to be a 'lighter'. It was still delicious, moist and flavorful, slightly spiced and covered with a rich cream cheese frosting. Sprinkled with some toasted, chopped walnuts and cut into bite sized pieces, it was the perfect snack for Thanksgiving night, or any other night of the year!

Even though I did go with the lighter carrot cake, I had to go with the not-so-light cream cheese frosting, the lighter frosting just wasn't going to do it for me. It turned out delicious, as all cream cheese frostings do, you really can't go wrong with cream cheese and butter. I finished the cake off with some chopped, roasted walnuts, the perfect finish.

And with that it really couldn't be much easier. With oil instead of butter, and no need to layer the cake with the frosting it really is a quick and delicious cake. I will keep this one in my repertoire for years to come.

Lighter Carrot Cake

From America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound carrots (about 6 medium), peeled and grated (about 3 cups)
  • Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 inch cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nugget, salt and cloves together in a medium bowl.

Beat the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a large bowl with and electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture turns thick and creamy, 1 to 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly beat in the oil until thoroughly combined and emulsified, 30 to 60 seconds.

Sift half the flour mixture over the batter and gently whisk in by hand. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and continue to whisk the batter gently until most of the lumps are gone - do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the carrots.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

Cool the cake completely in the pan, about 2 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and flip the cake out onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper then flip the cake right side up onto a serving platter. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake and serve.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (or neufchâtel), softened
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar

Directions

Beat the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 2 to 4 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 4 to 6 minutes.

Oatmeal Streusel Muffins

A good muffin is such a nice way to start the morning, it's hard to go wrong when a muffin is what you pick. If you're looking for a nice and tasty basic muffin recipe this is the one for you. The base is pretty straightforward with the addition of some ground oats which is always a nice touch in my opinion. They add such a nice chewiness and hardiness. Add a nice salty and sweet topping with even more oats and you've got yourself a perfectly wonderful breakfast.

The original recipe calls for 12 muffins, but I always end up with more than what recipes call for and I got 18 out of this recipe. Because of this, I ran a little low on the topping. Low in my opinion anyway. There was still plenty on each muffin, don't worry, but I like my toppings to absolutely overwhelm my muffins which didn't happen in this case. But that was not a huge problem, they were still wonderful. These muffins would be a great blank canvas if you're looking to try something with a little more pizzaz. I think any type of dried fruit would be very nice in them (if you like that sort of thing), or some cinnamon chips or something else along these lines. Let your imagination go wild!

Oatmeal Streusel Muffins

From 

First Look Then Cook

Ingredients

Topping

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (1 1/2-oz)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (1 2/3-oz)
  • 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar (2 1/3-oz)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Muffin Base

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (6-oz)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (8 3/4-oz)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar (9 1/3-oz)
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Directions

Topping

Combine oats, flour, pecans, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Drizzle melted butter over mixture and stir to thoroughly combine; set aside.

Muffins

Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add oats and cook, stirring frequently, until oats turn golden brown and smell of cooking popcorn, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer oats to food processor and process into fine meal, about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to oats and pulse until combined, about 3 pulses.

Stir 6 tablespoons melted butter and sugar together in large bowl until smooth. Add milk and eggs and whisk until smooth. Using whisk, gently fold half of oat mixture into wet ingredients, tapping whisk against side of bowl to release clumps. Add remaining oat mixture and continue to fold with whisk until no streaks of flour remain. Set aside batter for 20 minutes to thicken. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F.

Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (about 1/2 cup batter per cup; cups will be filled to rim). Evenly sprinkle topping over muffins (about 2 tablespoons per muffin). Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 25 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.

Let muffins cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from muffin tin and serve or let cool completely before serving.

Tiramisu

I don't know about you, but when I think of Italian desserts the first thing that pops into my mind is tiramisu. I actually made this tiramisu last summer, and just never had the chance to post it. I decided that this was the week to fix that problem.  Booze soaked lady fingers, coffee, mascarpone, heavy cream and a dusting of cocoa, delicious! I can't say that I'm much of a tiramisu connoisseur, but that doesn't really matter, all I know is that this tiramisu was so yummy! Cream and rich and full of flavor. If you are looking to make an impressive Italian dessert for a crowd, this is sure to fit the bill.

Just to warn you, this recipe makes a huge batch of tiramisu. It is quite rich so you don't really need a lot of it at once, not that I will judge you if you do! You do need to make it ahead of time so that it has time to chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours. This makes it a really easy dessert to serve to guest then, you don't have to do anything except cut it up when you are ready to serve. 

The whole process is quite simple, but it is a little time consuming. There are a lot of steps with making the custard, soaking the lady fingers and then layering everything together but none of it is technically difficult, plus there is a lot of opportunity for snooping! 

This is a fantastic dessert for crowd. If you happen to have some left (I had plenty leftover) I found that it froze quite well. I cut it up and threw it in the freezer. When you want a little snack all you have to do is pull it out. You can eat it straight from the freezer which I found turned it into kind of like an ice cream sandwich, or you can let it warm up a little bit and it will be as good as new! However you like it, enjoy!

Tiramisu

From America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons instant espresso granules
  • 9 tablespoons dark rum (I used Kahlua, I didn't have any dark rum)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 14 ounces (42 to 60, depending on size) dried ladyfingers (savoiardi)
  • 3-1/2 Tablespoons cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 1/4 cup grated semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Directions

Stir coffee, espresso, and 5 tablespoons rum in a wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves; set aside.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once or twice. Add remaining 4 tablespoons rum and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl once or twice. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside.

In now-empty mixer bowl (no need to clean bowl), beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes longer. Using rubber spatula, fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.

Working one at a time, drop half of ladyfingers into coffee mixture, roll, remove and transfer to 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. (Do not submerge ladyfingers in coffee mixture; entire process should take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds for each cookie.) Arrange soaked cookies in single layer in baking dish, breaking or trimming ladyfingers as needed to fit neatly into dish.

Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; use rubber spatula to spread mixture to sides and into corners of dish and smooth surface. Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in fine-mesh strainer and dust cocoa over mascarpone.

Repeat dipping and arrangement of ladyfingers; spread remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and dust with remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons cocoa. Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if using; cut into pieces and serve chilled.

Bakery Style Muffins

When it comes to muffins, there are just muffins, and then there are real muffins. I'm sure you know what I mean, some muffins are short, flat and to be honest, rather ugly, not that this means they don't taste good, but let's be honest, it's more fun to eat something beautiful. Then there are the real deal; tall and handsome muffins with those perfectly domed tops, slightly crispy edges and a dense yet tender crumb that will never be confused with a cupcake. This is the kind of muffin I pine after. It's surprising how difficult it can be to find a recipe for this type of muffin, however, I think I've finally done it. These muffins were gorgeous and delicious, true muffins with the perfectly rounded top, exactly what I've been looking for.

What's interesting about this batter is that it doesn't use any milk or other liquid. The dairy is all yogurt, and a lot of it. This makes the batter super thick, almost like pancake batter, and helps create that beautiful mushroom top that doesn't overflow the muffin tins or flatten out too much. For this go around I made half of the mushrooms just plain, so I could really taste the muffin as is. For the other half, I tried swirling in some homemade strawberry rhubarb jam for a little added sweetness. I topped both with some coarse sugar for a little extra crunch.

The results were simply marvelous. The plain muffins were very nice, simple, slightly sweet and perfect as a basic muffin. The jam swirled version was also quite wonderful, a little extra sweet and sticky, the jam brought the muffin up just a notch. I would definitely do it again. Since the batter was so thick and my jam was really thick, it was difficult to actually swirl in the jam,  it mostly just stayed as a blob, but that was okay, it turned out really well in the end. This recipe comes with several delicious looking variations that I hope to share with you all soon.

Bakery Style Muffins
From Food.com, originally from America's Test Kitchen
Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

Directions
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 375 F (or 450 F for mini muffins). Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternating 1/3 at a time, beat in the dry ingredients and yogurt until a smooth, thick batter just forms.

Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or coat lightly with butter. Scoop batter evenly into cups. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes for the large muffins (and 10-12 minutes for the mini muffins). Set on wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve warm.

Pan-Roasted Carrots

I've never been very good at side dishes. Coming up with the main course is the easy part, but I have a hard time figuring out what to eat with it. I often end up with a salad, green beans or some roasted broccoli, all delicious but not always very inspiring. A few weeks ago, while I was looking for something just a little different to have with dinner, I came across this recipe. It was perfect because I actually had all the ingredients which is amazing. Glazed carrots may not be anything new and amazing, but these were absolutely delicious, the perfect accompaniment to my roasted chicken dinner.

This recipe is fairly straight forward and easy. Cut up the carrots, throw them into a super hot pan to get them nice and caramelized, then just add the rest of the ingredients and cook unit done. Easy as that. A simple recipe that is sure to please. Perfectly cooked carrots, slightly sweetened with a light glaze.

Four beautiful carrots

Peel the carrots 

Start cutting

A bowl of carrots, cut on the bias

Into the pan they go, make sure it's nice and hot

You want them to get dark and caramelized, caramelization = flavor

Finished and glazed, so yummy

Pan-Roasted Carrots
From: America's Test Kitchen, Cooking for Two, 2010
Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick on the bias
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary

Directions
Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the carrots, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the broth and sugar, then add the rosemary sprig and bring to a simmer. reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Uncover, remove and discard the rosemary sprig, and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Chocolate Truffles

Making homemade chocolate truffles has been in my mind for over a year now, but for some reason I just never got around to just making them. A few weeks ago however, I buckled down and decided I had to just do it. Now, finally having completed my truffle making task, I'm asking myself what took so long? They turned out wonderfully, creamy and decadent, dark and rich. You also get a lot of truffles out of one batch which is really nice. I'm definitely not going to let it take as long to make them a second time.

I like my chocolate dark, so I used a nice mix of different kinds of dark chocolate that I've been accumulating to make truffles with. I thought they turned out perfectly, intensely dark, almost to the point of being bitter but not quite. If you don't like your chocolate quite so dark, go with something a little sweeter. Since truffles are mostly chocolate, use really good chocolate to make them. The better the chocolate the better the truffle.

The process was not difficult at all, but it definitely takes some time. You have to make the ganache, let it set for several hours, and then roll out each individual chocolate. I found it very rewarding, but I wouldn't try it if you're in a hurry. You can make the ganache a day or two ahead though and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to shape the truffles. That's what I did and it worked out perfectly. Now having one batch of truffles under my belt, I'm ready to start experimenting with different toppings and different flavors, the possibilities are endless.

My mix of dark chocolate

Pretty, I almost didn't want to melt it

Break it all up in a bowl for microwaving

Nice and melted

Add the cream mixture

Let it sit covered for a few minutes

Then start stirring in the butter

Glossy and beautiful

Pour the ganache into the prepared pan

Then give it a few hours to set, first at room 

temperature and then in the fridge

When ready, remove from the pan

Time to create

Cut it up into 64 pieces

I could eat it as is

Roll each piece into a smooth ball,

yes it is kind of messy

Drop each truffle in the cocoa coating

and roll to coat

That's it, time to enjoy!

Chocolate Truffles
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Ingredients
Ganache

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces 

Coating

  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa 
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 

Directions
Start by making a parchment sling for an 8-inch square baking dish. Cut two strips of parchment paper as wide as the pan but long enough to hang over the edge. Lay them perpendicular in the pan so the bottom and sides are covered and the parchment hangs over all of the edges. This makes it easier to remove the ganache later.

Next make the ganache. First, microwave the chocolate for about 3-4 minutes on 50% power until mostly melted but a few small pieces remain. Then microwave the cream until warm, about 30 seconds. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and salt and pour the mixture over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 3 minutes until it's nice and steamy, then remove the plastic and stir it all together with a wooden spoon. Finally, add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring until fulling incorporated and silky smooth.

Transfer the ganache to the prepared pan and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before covering and refrigerating until firm, at least 2 more hours.

While waiting for the ganache to firm up make the coating. Sift together the cocoa and powdered sugar twice into a small bowl using a fine mesh strainer.

Using the parchment paper as handles, life the ganache out of the pan. Cut the block of chocolate into 64 pieces, if it's really hard and starts cracking, let it sit out for a few minutes before continuing. Roll each piece into a round ball. I found that pressing the edges of each square into a more rounded shape with the tips of my fingers first made it easier to roll each piece into a nice ball with the palms of my hands. Drop the balls into the bowl of cocoa topping and roll them around to completely coat. Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.