I haven’t been to Japan for a while now, and was really missing Royce’ nama chocolates. They are beautiful, fresh, truffle like chocolates that come in many boozy flavors in the cutest boxes, smaller than they should be – but maybe that’s for the best – with 20 chocolates in each. They come with a very civilized little plastic pick, so you can eat the nama chocolate without melting it with your fingers.
I always buy Royce’ nama at the duty free shop when leaving Japan. I have the location in Narita airport imprinted on my mind. It’s a small candy shop on the way to my usual gate, on the right side before the moving walkways start. They’re always packed with people buying boxes and boxes of nama in different flavors.
Amidst my contemplation of the past I realized, I’m keto now. Even if I went to Japan tomorrow I wouldn’t buy any Royce’. I allowed myself a brief moment of sadness. To shed a small tear, for the sweet memories of nama chocolate. Done. I can ketofy this! Sugar-free chocolate = fat bomb 🤯
The last box of Royce’ I bought is long gone, so did some googling to try to approximate the size of the original nama. After some time looking stupid measuring pictures with a ruler against the screen – specially hard when your laptop is touchscreen and likes to troll you – I found a review on Amazon saying the box is about 5″x 5″. So I took of a couple of centimeters for the surrounding plastic tray and cardboard package and reached the very precise conclusion of 11.5 cm. I also made the chocolate heavier than the measly 125 grams, but hey, it’s a sugar-free so I can have more of it, right?
If you have a box of Royce’ nama on hand, and wouldn’t mind doing me a favor, let me know in the comments how big is the chocolate bar square? Thank you.
Is it difficult to make this keto friendly nama chocolate?
Royce’ chocolate is very similar to a ganache in how to make: nama chocolate is like a tough truffle, in which the proportion of chocolate to cream is higher. It is much easier to do, because it’s easier to handle – you don’t have to make balls of it, and have ganache and cocoa powder (or in this case matcha) all over your hands, your clothes, your hair. Still manages to go into the mouth, though, risky business.
You’ll need only 4 ingredients to make your own matcha flavored nama chocolate, aka boozy fat bomb:
- Heavy or whipping cream – minimum 35% fat
- Sugar-free white chocolate – that’s how we make it keto!
- Matcha powder – you should go with a higher quality matcha for a delicate, not overly bitter flavor.
- A nice brandy, or Cognac. Or cherry brandy, if you can find it.
Matcha: Eat Your (Chocolate) Greens
Matcha, or Maccha as 抹茶 is romanized in the Royce’ matcha chocolate box is Japanese for ground tea. The Japanese matcha is a very finely powdered version of green tea that is grown under shade. Green tea flavored chocolate may sound strange at first, but allow me to dispel this prejudice.
The bittersweet and fresh leafy flavor of matcha tea is widely used in Japanese confectionery, making heavenly, and let’s choose to believe, healthier green versions of ice-cream, lattes, cakes, mochi, cookies and, of course, chocolates. Have you seen matcha KitKat? The subtle hint of bitterness of matcha green tea pairs wonderfully with white chocolate.
How to choose the right liquor for your DIY nama
Royce’ nama chocolates are deliciously boozy. Their unique taste is heavily influenced by liquor. Unless you specifically go for the alcohol free version, which I never tasted – and don’t intend to 😜 – all of Royce’ nama will have some booze in it.
They add different brandy types to match the chocolate flavor: the white nama chocolates generally have cherry and/or orange brandy. The dark or milk nama chocolates Royce’ contain mostly grape brandy. Their special boozy flavors have another layer of alcohol on top: They offer a Scottish whisky version and a Champagne version that I could not help but to ketofy myself! If you’d like to try, here’s this lovely keto Champagne nama chocolate recipe!
Specifically, this Royce’ nama matcha chocolate uses cherry brandy. I couldn’t find any, so I just put a grape brandy: Courvousier cognac. I didn’t notice much difference. So you are probably safe using whatever brandy or schnapps, as long as it tastes good by itself.
How to make your own chocolate mold
Before doing anything else, if you don’t have a proper chocolate mold, select an appropriate container to pour the ganache chocolate in, and line it with wax paper. All my square pots have rounded edges, so I decided to improvise a chocolate mold by forming a square shape out of cardboard strips, and folding wax paper around it.
This recipe makes enough chocolate for a 11.5 x 11.5 cm square shape, but you can increase the amount if you want to make it bigger. I don’t blame you.
How to prepare the sugar-free chocolate ganache
Chop the chocolate into very small pieces, slicing it as finely as possible. It’s easier with a serrated knife. The smaller the chocolate pieces are, the faster they will melt. Skip this if using chocolate chips, of course.
Take one tablespoon of cream and mix it with the matcha powder until it forms a smooth, thick paste. Reserve.
Heat up the remaining cream in a small sauce pan and on very low heat. When you see the tiny bubbles forming around the rim of the pan, you’ll know it’s hot enough. Remove from the heat immediately – you shouldn’t let the cream come to a boil.
Drop all the chocolate on top of the hot cream at once. Gently press the chocolate down onto the cream with a spatula, and give it a moment (picture 1).
After 1-2 minutes, start mixing the white chocolate into the cream with a folding motion (picture 2), to completely coat the chocolate that’s hasn’t melted yet. Continue mixing slowly. If the chocolate doesn’t melt fully, turn on the stove on low and hold the sauce pan about 15 centimeters above the heat source, while mixing the chocolate, until it’s completely melted.
The reason why I prefer to hold the pan far up from the heat, instead of using a double boiler, is to minimize the risk of seizing the chocolate. Any drop of water can completely ruin your chocolate! So keep everything around your workplace very dry.
Add the matcha powder cream you prepared, and mix until fully dissolved.
When the ganache is fully combined with the creamed matcha and stable, add the brandy, one teaspoon at a time, mixing just until fully incorporated. You are looking to have a texture such as in picture 4.
Pour the keto nama into the selected container. Leave outside the fridge for at least one hour to settle, then refrigerate it covered in cling wrap for 6 hours or until the next day before unmolding.
How to fix a broken ganache
If the ganache separates, it’s grainy or forms small oily puddles, (example in picture 3 above) do not despair, it happens. You can save your ganache by adding a tiny bit (one teaspoon at a time) of cold cream, and mixing until it comes together. When you reach the point when it’s smooth – it will look like very thick melted chocolate – stop mixing. Over mixing can cause the ganache to break again.
How to cut perfect nama chocolate squares
If you used a mini squares chocolate mold, lucky you: your chocolate is almost ready, and you can skip this step. Although faster and less messy than your typical chocolate truffle ball rolling, the hardest part of making nama chocolate is actually the cutting.
If you care about making your keto chocolate look like the original Royce’ matcha nama, which are cut into 20 rectangular pieces, use a ruler and mark 3 tiny dents equally apart on one edge of the chocolate square, and other 4 dents equally apart on a perpendicular edge. These marks will serve as a guide for the knife.
Take the hugest and sharpest knife you have, and press it down onto the chocolate, pushing against the blade with one hand. When it goes all the way thought, do a slight side to side motion with the blade, then hold onto the chocolate and pull the blade back up. Wash the knife, dry it, and go for the next cut.
Warming up the knife in hot water or with a hot towel, as I’ve seen advised, is not a great idea if you care about making the chocolate edges look nice and cleanly cut. The warmed up knife does make it easier to cut into the bar, as it melts its way through, but in doing so it also gives the chocolate’s edges a melted appearance.
Take about 2 teaspoons of matcha powder by itself, or a half matcha half powdered erythritol for a sweeter experience. Sprinkle it over the cut nama chocolate squares with a fine mesh sieve, or roll the squares in the powder, one by one.
Your keto, sugar-free Royce’ nama matcha copycat chocolate is so ready. I bet you didn’t think you could just make it at home. And the best part: have it anytime you want. Enjoy your fancy fat bombs!
Now I’m left only with the sweet memories of the Royce’ potatochip chocolate… I don’t think I can do anything about those 🤔
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- 130 grams sugar-free white chocolate
- 40 grams fresh heavy cream or whipping cream
- 4 grams or 2 teaspoons high quality pure matcha powder
- 10 grams or 2 teaspoons brandy
- extra 2 teaspoons matcha, or a mix of matcha and powdered erythritol, for dusting
1. Chop the sugar-free white chocolate into very small pieces, by slicing it finely (or use chocolate chips).
2. Take from the total amount of cream one tablespoon, and mix with the matcha powder until it forms a paste.
3. Put the remaining cream in a small sauce pan on very low heat. Do not boil. When you notice the start of bubbling on the edges of the pan, remove from the heat, and drop all the chopped chocolate into the pan at once. Gently press the chocolate onto the cream with a spatula, but don't mix it yet.
4. After one minute, start mixing the chocolate into the cream with a folding motion, to completely coat the chocolate that's hasn't melted yet with the hot cream. Continue mixing slowly. If the chocolate doesn't melt fully, turn on the stove on low again but hold the sauce pan about 15 centimeters above the heat source, while mixing the chocolate, until it melts fully.
5. Add the matcha cream, and mix until combined.
6. When the ganache is fully mixed and stable, add the brandy, one teaspoon at a time, mixing just until fully incorporated.
7. Pour the ganache into the prepared chocolate mold, and let it settle on the counter for one hour before covering with plastic film and putting it in the refrigerator, on the lowest shelf.
8. After a minimum of 6 hours, unmold the chocolate, and, using a very sharp knife, cut it nto squares. Wash and dry the knife after every cut.
9. Sieve matcha powder (or half matcha half powdered erythritol) over the squares, or roll the squares into the powder.
10. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. It's best to remove remove from the fridge 20 minutes before consumption.
Following the correct ratio of chocolate and cream is essential for this recipe to have the right texture, so I recommend weighting these ingredients with a kitchen scale.
If the ganache separates, it's grainy or you can see small oily puddles, add a very tiny bit (one teaspoon at a time) of cold cream to the mixture, it should come back together.
This recipe will fill a 11.5 x 11.5 cm square mold, and the resulting chocolate will have a height of 1.5 cm. If increasing the recipe, use a larger mold to have a similarly shaped chocolate.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 4 squares
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 21.6gSaturated Fat: 10.3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 1.6gNet Carbohydrates: 1.6gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0.9g
Nutritional information is provided as a guideline only. Different brands of ingredients may have different nutrition facts. If you are doing a very strict form of keto, such as for medical purposes, please do remake the calculations using the nutrition facts from the labels of the ingredients you selected. Net carbs calculated exclude carbs from insoluble fiber and the sugar alcohol erythritol.