Velvety Nama Chocolate from Modern Asian Baking at Home

Recipes excerpted from Modern Asian Baking at Home by Kat Lieu. Reproduced by permission of The Quarto Group.

Velvety Nama Chocolates

Velvety Nama Chocolate. Image credit: The Quarto Group

Before I leave Narita Airport on my return trips from Japan, I always stock up on Royce’s famous nama chocolates. These confections are the epitome of perfect velvety chocolate truffles. I love biting into a soft nama chocolate and letting the ganache melt on my tongue. I’m a sucker for anything comforting and delicious yet simply made.

This recipe is inspired by Royce’s nama chocolates.

Notes: Nama means raw or fresh in Japanese, and nama chocolates are easily made with fresh cream and chocolate. Please have a digital or candy thermometer for this recipe.

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Cook time: 10 minutes 

Yield 24 to 36 pieces 



1 cup (235 g) heavy cream

1 tablespoon (14 g) butter

About 2 cups (470 g) bittersweet or dark couverture (or high quality) chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon (15 g) liquor of choice or vanilla extract (optional)

A pinch of salt

Cocoa powder for dusting

Gold flakes for garnishing (optional)


1 cup (235 g) heavy cream

2 tablespoons (28 g) butter, room temperature

About 3 cups (470 g) ivory-colored white chocolate (made with cocoa butter), chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 to 2 tablespoons (6 to 12 g) matcha, plus more for dusting

Edible gold flakes or sea salt flakes for garnishing (optional)


  1. Line an 8 x 8-inch (20.5 x 20.5 cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Make the nama chocolates. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream and butter to 120°F (49°C). Remove from heat. Add the chocolate to a large heatproof bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Pour the cream into the softened chocolates to temper them. Add the optional liquor or vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Whisk until creamy and homogeneous. Refer to the final step / OR /
  3. Make matcha nama chocolates. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream and butter to 110°F (43°C), until the butter has melted. Immediately remove from heat and mix in the white chocolate, vanilla extract, and salt until incorporated and creamy. Sift in the matcha and whisk until homogeneous.
  4. The final step: Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan. Even and smooth out the top of the chocolate. Tap the pan against the counter to get rid of air bubbles. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  5. Depending on how big you want the nama chocolates to be, you can slice the chocolate into twenty-four to thirty-six equal pieces. Dust with either the cocoa or matcha. Feel free to garnish with edible gold flakes or sea salt flakes.
  6. Nama chocolates should be refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within 5 days. Take care not to overheat the heavy cream or the chocolate will separate. To enjoy nama chocolates in a different way, try wrapping them with a mochi dough disc.
About the Author
Kat Lieu of Subtle Asian Baking and author of Modern Asian Baking at Home. Image credit: Kat Lieu

Grew up in South Brooklyn, New York, she obtained a Doctor of Physical Therapy to fulfil her Asian parents’ dreams in 2008. However, for the past 13 years, Kat Lieu has been constantly searching for her identity. “For many years, I was untrue to myself and constantly searching, always unsatisfied, and I became a serial resigner (I always had a template for a resignation letter ready!)”, she shares with Set the Tables.

During the peak of the pandemic, Kat started Subtle Asian Baking (SAB) on Facebook as a private group for like-minded home bakers. Within two years, it had snowballed to a community of 145.2k people (as of May 2022). Beyond supporting individual bakers, charities, and Asian communities, Lieu sees this platform as a place for connection and inclusivity for bakers of all backgrounds, not only those of East Asian descent. Her first cookbook, Modern Asian Baking at Home, will be released on 28th June 2022.

You can preorder your copy of Modern Asian Baking at Home here and on Amazon.

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