Place the chopped chocolate in a medium-sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside.

Heat cream and butter until the cream comes to a gentle simmer and the butter is just melted.

Pour cream over chocolate

Stir the mixture with whisk until the chocolate is melted and mixture is quite smooth

If using alcohol or orange zest, stir in now.

Cover mixture with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for a minimum of four hours (you can leave it in overnight, and up to several days, if you’re not ready to form the truffles).

 

To Form Truffles:

Remove truffle mixture from refrigerator, remove plastic wrap

Place coating(s) on small plate(s)

Using your hands or a small scoop, melon baller or small spoon, form the chocolate into small bite-sized balls (or, in the traditional French style, make them a bit misshapen so they look like real truffles, the precious fungi)

Once you form a truffle, roll it immediately in the coating of your choice

Set finished truffles on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic

Return truffles to the refrigerator until firm

 

Suggestion: Before eating, let truffles come to near room temperature

 

Note: Truffles may be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container, or frozen for up to a month. But really, who can show that much restraint?