Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
Place the cream in a sauce pan over medium heat (or you can heat it to simmering, in the microwave). Cook for 2-3 minutes or until cream is simmering.
Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow the mixture to rest for 3-5 minutes.
Add the vanilla extract and stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface (to avoid condensation) and refrigerate for one hour, or until firm.
Scoop the mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized mounds. Roll each into balls.
If the chocolate gets too soft and starts to melt, you can chill it until it becomes easier to work with again. This gets a little sticky, so see my tips above.
Roll each into toppings, if desired. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment and chill until firm. After the truffles are firm, you can transfer them to an airtight container.
Store your truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Remove them to come to room temperature about 20 minutes before serving (they taste best served at room temperature.).
Chocolate: high quality chocolate is essential. Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands. Finely chop it into uniform pieces to melt evenly and smoothly. Cream: if you need a dairy-free substitute, canned coconut milk would work.To Make Ahead: Prepare the truffle mixture through step 3. The mixture must chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours but it can be left in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To store: Store your truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Remove them to come to room temperature about 20 minutes before serving (they taste best served at room temperature.).To Freeze: Chocolate truffles can be frozen in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw truffles overnight in the refrigerator.