1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean and/or 3 T cognac (optional)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Chop 1 pound of the chocolate coarsely and place in a double boiler. Save the remaining 4 oz. for later (coating the truffles).Melt the chocolate in the double boiler.
Split the vanilla bean a lengthwise and scrape out the back seeds. Place the seeds and vanilla bean in the heavy cream and bring to a boil.
As soon as the cream boils take it off the heat. Let cool for a minute then pass the liquid through a fine sieve. Discard the vanilla bean. Add the cream mixture to the melted chocolate. If adding cognac or another liquor add at this point. Whisk all the ingredients together.To form the truffles
Several methods can be used. In each method the chocolate balls should be formed onto a tray containing a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper.
1: The mixture can be transferred to a pastry bag using a large plain tip if the chocolate mixture is still soft enough and then piped out onto the wax paper.
2. The chocolate truffles can be formed using a melon ball cutter.
3. A relatively easy method is simply forming walnut sized truffles using two teaspoons.
Put the rough shaped truffles into the refrigerator for a few minutes then roll them in your hand to get the desired shape.
Once properly shaped, set aside the chocolate truffles to cool in the refrigerator for a least an hour.
To coat the truffles
Melt the remaining 4 oz. of chocolate in a double boiler. Let cool but remain a liquid.
Add the cocoa to a medium sized bowl and leave to the side.
To coat the truffles in the dark chocolate dip a few of the cold truffles in the chocolate and then remove with a fork onto wax or parchment paper. Roll around to remove excess chocolate then transfer immediately to the bowl containing cocoa. Roll around to coat completely. Repeat with the rest of the truffles. You are looking for just a thin coat of dark chocolate around the center ganache and a very light coating of cocoa.