Since we only have one more week to go before Valentine’s Day, I prepared two easy and quick dessert recipes for you to share with that special someone. I don’t normally make desserts so this is a very special week on Just One Cookbook!
Today I’m sharing a Japanese chocolate dessert called Nama Chocolate. I had received several requests from readers last year asking for this recipe and I apologize for the delay if you have been waiting for me to share. Thank you for waiting!
If you are a frequent visitor to Japan, you either had a chance to taste or heard of this Japanese chocolate delicacy “Nama Chocolate” before. Nama chocolate is very rich and moist. This delicate and silky chocolate literally melt in your mouth. It is very similar to French truffles (See my guest blogger Sissi’s delicious truffles) since the main ingredients are the exactly the same, just fresh cream and chocolate. Unlike ball-shape truffles, Nama Chocolate comes in small squares. The cooking method is slightly different from one for Truffles and it’s even easier to make than truffles as we don’t need to roll.
By the way, you might wonder what “nama” means? Nama (na-ma) means “raw” or “fresh” in Japanese, and in this case it’s coming from abundant “fresh” cream being used. Therefore, it must be kept it in refrigerator all times and is best enjoyed fresh so you have to eat them within a couple of days. I highly recommend that you use high quality chocolate for this since that’s the most important ingredient for making delicious Nama Chocolate.
The well-known Nama Chocolate brand in Japan is ROYCE’ Chocolate and my readers especially in Asia might be aware of this brand. If you visit Japan, their Nama Chocolate is available at the airports before heading home. :-) Their Nama Chocolate is usually packed in a box for sale so I put my Nama Chocolate in the box as well.
- 400 gram (14 oz) good quality dark chocolate (70% cacao), but you can also use semisweet for less bitter taste.
- 200 ml fresh cream (heavy whipping cream)
- Liqueur of your choice (optional)
- Cocoa powder to coat the chocolate
- Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces using a knife so that they will melt faster and more evenly.
- Line an 8" x 8" (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with parchment paper. Choosing the right size tray is important as the height of chocolate is decided depending on how much you pour.
- Add the heavy whipping cream into a small saucepan and bring it to ALMOST boil over medium heat. Keep an eye on the cream; when you see bubbles around the saucepan, remove from the heat.
- Add the chocolate and stir till the chocolate and cream are completely combined. Add liqueur of your choice (optional).
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Smooth the surface (which I forgot) and refrigerate until firm, about 4-5 hours (or overnight).
- Remove the chocolate from the baking dish and cut it into cubes using a warm knife. Make sure to warm the knife after each cutting to prevent splintering. You can use hot running water but wipe it off completely before each cut.
- Sprinkle the cocoa powder and serve it chilled. You can keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days but enjoy soon.
Make sure the bowls and utensils you are using are perfectly dry. Even a small amount of water/steam can "seize" the chocolate melting process.
The ratio of heavy whipping cream (ml) and chocolate (gram) should be 1:2. Please do not replace chocolate with white chocolate for this recipe. The ratio is not the same.
The two most common problems of working with chocolate are separating and seizing.
1) Separation (oil came out of the chocolate) happens when you get the chocolate too hot. Dark chocolate should never be heated above 120 degrees F (Milk chocolate and white chocolate should never be heated above 110 degrees F). When chocolate gets too hot, the cocoa butter separates from the solids, and there is no way to salvage it (although you can bake with it and it tastes fine). The best way to prevent separation is to use gentle heat (simmer on lowest heat) and stir frequently. Since we're not using a double boiler in this recipe, make sure you do not bring the heavy whipping cream to a full boil. Remove from heat as soon as you saw bubbles around the edges of the saucepan.
2) Seizing happens when moisture is introduced to melted chocolate (even a tiny amount of liquid or steam). It happens all the sudden from a smooth bowl of liquid chocolate to a lumpy, grainy mass of chocolate.
To learn more details and how to fix the overheated or seized chocolate, please read HERE.
Try Green Tea Chocolate version, too!