These velvety, decadent keto Champagne chocolate truffles are a perfect copycat recipe of the ultra creamy and smooth Japanese nama Royce’ chocolates. But even better, as these are sugar-free, low-carb and keto!
Japanese nama chocolate truffles are (surprise!) much easier to make than classic chocolate truffles, as they don’t need to be scooped, rolled or hand shaped. And this keto nama copycat looks exactly like the original box of nama chocolates bought at the store – for a fraction of the price! And they taste the same, too!
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These gorgeous pink keto Champagne chocolate truffles make for an elegant and delicious gift, perfect for romantic occasions. The best part is that they are homemade! Who wouldn’t feel more appreciated if they knew their valentine actually put work into lovingly hand making chocolates? 💘💘
Japanese nama vs classic truffles
The recipes for regular chocolate truffles are softer and creamier, as they take a higher percentage of cream in the ganache. Normally, they are hand rolled.
The original Japanese nama chocolates are also ganache based, but they are made with real fresh cream (nama means fresh or raw in Japanese). They also have a smaller proportion of cream to chocolate (as compared to classic truffles).
The process for making Japanese nama truffles is pretty much the same as for the classic truffles for the first part: you make a ganache and add flavorings. And then, it gets easier:
Nama chocolates are shaped in molds, and not by hand, similarly to pure melted chocolate.
Because you don’t need to roll the truffles by hand, all that messy business of chocolate stuck to your hands, kitchen counter, your hair and clothes and the cat whiskers is gone and you can have chocolate only where it matters: in your mouth!
Sugar-free white chocolate (or milk chocolate) – get a sugar-free, keto friendly white chocolate that tastes good by itself. The original nama chocolate that inspired this recipe is made with milk chocolate, but I think the taste of white chocolate and specially the color is a better match for this recipe – as I wanted the truffles to be pink!
The same recipe can be done with a sugar-free milk chocolate if that’s your preference, but be warned that the resulting keto Champagne truffles will not be pink in color – not even if you add food coloring.
Fresh heavy cream or HWC (heavy whipping cream) – heavy as in minimum of 35% fat content. The more fatty the cream, the better it combines with the chocolate, and the creamier these keto truffles will be!
Champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine – Easy to chose: just pick your favorite. You’ll need only a glass for the recipe! Feel free to drink the rest of the bottle🤤
Brandy or Cognac – nama chocolates take much of their flavor from the alcohol in them. No, the Champagne is definitely not enough… The Champagne nama from the Japanese Royce’ brand uses brandy and Champagne combined.
Dutch process cocoa powder – To coat the truffles, decorate, and prevent them from melting on your fingers. I recommend using a Dutch processed cocoa powder, which has the bitterness removed and will complement the elegant fruity taste of these truffles beautifully. Natural cocoa powder is somewhat bitter and acidic, which masks the delicate flavors of the Champagne chocolate.
I decided to only coat the tops of these keto truffles with cocoa to showcase the unique color contrast of the delicate pink chocolate and the dark cocoa powder on the top. This is best for square cut chocolates.
If you are going for heart shaped Champagne truffles, it’s best to coat the whole chocolate with cocoa powder.
Pink food coloring – this is optional, but if you are planning to gift these chocolates on Valentine’s day, or a romantic birthday or wedding anniversary, why not make them look the part? We can easily achieve a gorgeous, delicate pink shade on white chocolate by adding a few drops of pink food grade colorant.
Even if you chose a rosé Champagne as ingredient for the keto truffles you will still have to add some pink coloring as the color in the rosé Champagne is enough to give the chocolate a pink shade.
Vanilla beans – also optional, but white chocolate and vanilla is a match made in heaven! You don’t need much, but make sure that you use real vanilla bean pods and not any vanilla flavoring extract. Not only for the best flavor, but also to avoid adding any more liquid to the recipe, which will alter the texture of the keto chocolate truffles.
Carbs in Champagne, and is it keto?
Alcoholic beverages vary wildly in the amount of carbs. What’s not ideal on a keto diet is not generally the alcohol per se, but the extra carbs that remain after the fermentation process or that are added at a later stage in the form of extra sugar.
For example, beer contains carbs from grains, varying a lot by brand. Liqueurs contains carbs from added sugar and cream (unless you make a sugar-free liqueur!) But pure spirits like vodka, whiskey, rum or tequila contain zero carbs, making them the best keto alcoholic drinks. But you don’t have to drink only hard liquor!
Dry wines and Champagne – which are basically sparkling wines – have much less carbs left behind during the fermentation process than their sweet counterparts. Dry wines and sparkling wines (brut or extra-dry Champagne and prosecco) have the least amount of carbs in fermented beverages, at 2 grams per glass or less!
DIY chocolate paper mold
You have 3 options for the Japanese chocolate mold:
You can just line any pot you have that is about 4 or 5 inches wide with wax paper, and that’s it! Just pour the ganache inside and refrigerate. Note, though, that the chocolate will take the shape of the pot.
If you’d like keto chocolate truffles to have perfect straight edges, and to look exactly as the original Royce’ nama Champagne chocolates, you can make your own mold with strips of cardboard.
Start by cutting cardboard strips into a square, 11.5 cm on the side, and about 3 cm tall. Tape the corners. Use a larger piece of wax paper to make the bottom of the mold, and fold it neatly over the cardboard walls, securing with clips. Now, you have a perfect square shape about the same size as the Royce’ nama chocolate box!
If you are feeling extra romantic, you can make these keto Champagne truffles in these heart shaped chocolate molds. Another advantage to use the silicone molds is that you won’t need to cut the chocolate later (which is the most time consuming part of this recipe).
Keto chocolate truffles step by step
Homemade Champagne extract
The secret to create an intense Champagne flavored chocolate is simple: you need to reduce the liquid in the Champagne to concentrate the flavor.
The Champagne (which can also be any sparkling wine or prosecco that you like) taste is very subtle to be noticed in the chocolate truffles if just added as-is – you’d definitely not feel the taste of a tablespoon of Champagne mixed into the chocolate ganache! And you can’t add any more than that, to keep the water content in the ganache as low as possible.
To reduce the Champagne or sparkling wine down to a homemade Champagne extract, simply add one cup to a small saucepan and simmer on medium heat until it reduces to near a tablespoon of liquid.
It might feel like it’s gonna take a long time when you start, but it’s actually pretty fast. Just keep an eye on it. There will be A LOT of vapor coming out of your pan, and your whole house will smell like Champagne – big time!
Simmer until there’s about a tablespoon or a bit more of Champagne left. Let it cool down – your homemade Champagne flavor extract will will have a darker, amber color and look thick and syrupy.
Sugar-free chocolate ganache
Chop the chocolate into very small pieces, for faster and uniform melting. It’s easier using a serrated knife. Or, use keto chocolate chips instead.
Heat up the heavy cream mixed with the reduced Champagne in a small saucepan on very low heat. You can use a metal griddle to increase the distance from the stove burner (picture 1), if your stove burns too hot (mine does). When you notice little bubbles forming around the edges, remove from the heat immediately – don’t let the cream come to a boil.
Drop the chopped chocolate on top of the hot heavy cream and Champagne mix. Press down onto the chocolate with a spatula, to submerge into the hot cream, and let it melt for a minute or so (2).
Start mixing the chopped chocolate or keto chocolate chips into the Champagne flavored cream with a folding motion (picture 3), to completely coat the chocolate that’s hasn’t melted yet. If the chocolate doesn’t melt fully after some gentle mixing, turn on the stove on low and hold the sauce pan at a distance above the heat, while mixing the chocolate, until it’s completely melted (4).
You might prefer to use a double-boiler for this, but I prefer this method. Any drop of water might ruin my precious chocolate, so I prefer to keep everything around it very dry.
Add the brandy or Cognac to the ganache after the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is stable (5). I like to add a few drops of pink food coloring to the brandy before mixing it in, for the lovely pink chocolate color. At this stage, you can also mix some scraped vanilla pod into the brandy – just 1/8th of a teaspoon is enough.
Pour the keto nama Champagne chocolate ganache into the selected container (picture 6). Leave it on the counter for about one hour to settle, then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 6 hours or until the next day.
How to cut Japanese chocolate
If you used a hearts silicone chocolate mold you can skip this step: just unmold the keto heart truffles and dust them with the cocoa powder.
If you went the homemade chocolate mold route, you now need to cut the nama chocolate into small squares.
I was a bit over-excited when I got to the cutting stage of this recipe – the chocolate truffle block looked and smelled so heavenly that I forgot to mark where to cut the squares first. So I ended up with one extra row of chocolates, and smaller squares overall. Not a big deal, I’m eating them all either way.
But, if you want the perfect sugar-free copycat of Royce’ nama Champagne, you need to measure and mark 3 by 4 cuts on the edges of the chocolate block, for a total of 20 chocolate squares. Check my other keto nama recipe in matcha flavor, that one looks exactly like it came out of the Royce’ chocolate box!
- Transfer the chocolate from the mold into a cutting board, holding it by the edges of the paper.
- Take your sharp knife and align it to the borders for a straight cut.
- Press down on the knife and push against the blade until you feel it touching the cutting board.
- Move the blade slightly side to side to fully separate the chocolate.
- Wash the knife and dry it well before cutting the next row of chocolates.
Dusting with cocoa powder
Adding some cocoa powder is the finishing touch that makes this keto chocolate truffles look truly sophisticated, and add another layer of flavor. Make sure you use Dutch process cocoa powder, not the natural one. Natural cocoa powder is bitterer and acidic, and it will “fight” with the delicate, fruity flavors of the Champagne truffles.
Using a fine mesh sieve, sprinkle the Dutch cocoa powder in a fine layer that completely covers the truffles before separating them. This way, you’ll get the truffles as in my pictures – a layer of cocoa on top, and the pink Champagne chocolate on the sides.
You can also fully coat each individual Champagne truffle in cocoa powder – which would be the best option if you are making these keto chocolates heart shaped. Just fill in a small bowl with the Dutch process cocoa powder, and toss the truffles inside one by one, until fully coated. Arrange them neatly into a container or gift box, and that’s it.
How to keep chocolate truffles fresh
These nama chocolate truffles need to be kept in the refrigerator, and they will last fresh for a couple of weeks.
You can totally eat them straight out of the fridge, but they will taste even better at room temperature – so for CRAZY PLEASURE leave out of the fridge for some time before serving.
In summer, the keto Champagne truffles will last out for a whole day and keep the proper shape, but they will melt when picked up by warm fingers. If you are serving them to fancy pants guests it’s better to use some mini dessert forks, it looks more elegant and prevents chocolate-y fingers.
By the way, the original Royce’ nama Champagne chocolates come with a pair of plastic fork picks, so that’s not my idea 😉
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