Serving Notes: This luscious butter makes even the simplest bread or roll special. Try it on toast, biscuits, pancakes, French toast, waffles or bread pudding. It's extra special with banana bread and holiday breads, such as Stollen.
3 ounces bittersweet (at least 70 percent cocoa) chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, slightly chilled
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons orange zest, finely grated
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Optional: 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts, chopped into halves and quarters (Roasted and salted pistachios add a welcome textural contrast. Most stores sell them already shelled. You may also use a different toasted nut or no nuts at all.)
1. Melt chocolate in microwave-safe bowl on low at one minute intervals, stirring until just melted and smooth. Or, using a double boiler, place chocolate in top bowl, stirring frequently until just melted, taking care not to overheat at bottom or sides. Allow melted chocolate to cool enough to touch.
2. Place the cooled butter in a medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
3. Beat in the cooled chocolate, cocoa, zest and sugar, scraping sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed to incorporate all ingredients. Stir in nuts if desired.
4. Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter mold and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.