Introducing Vegan Nama Chocolate! These Japanese-inspired chocolates are fudgy, creamy, and intensely chocolatey! Super fresh and prepared with just 3 ingredients, these dairy-free chocolates just melt in your mouth. You're in for a treat!
🍫 What is Nama Chocolate
Nama chocolates are squares of chocolate ganache dusted with cacao powder. It was first created by the Japanese company Royce' in 1995. Nama chocolate now comes in a variety of flavors like Mild Cacao, Bitter, White Chocolate, and Matcha, to name a few.
Here, we will be making nama dark chocolates, but check out the flavoring tips below to create different flavors!
🥣 How to Make Vegan Nama Chocolate
Making Nama chocolate is surprisingly easy! It's basically a chocolate ganache that is poured into square molds and then cut into squares.
Here is what you will need:
- Dark chocolate - While you could use chocolate chips, I highly recommend using a bar of very high-quality dark chocolate. Chocolate is a key ingredient here, so for the best flavor, go for the quality. The chocolate you will pick will also determine the sweetness of the Nama chocolates. Personally, I went with a 70% dark chocolate bar.
- Cashew cream - Cream brings richness and gives the chocolates a soft consistency. If you don't have time to make your own cashew cream, check out the FAQ for substitutes.
- Vegan butter - For a richer mouthfeel and, obviously, a slight buttery flavor.
With that being said, let's make Nama chocolates! First, finely chop the dark chocolate and transfer it to a bowl.
Next, heat the cashew cream (or your favorite plant-based cream) over medium heat. Just before it starts to boil, remove it from heat and pour it over the chopped dark chocolate.
Add the vegan butter and slowly whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and combined with the cream.
You should end up with a very smooth and slightly thick batter.
Pour the ganache into square molds and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until the ganache has firmed up. Here, I used two 3-inch square molds that I lined with parchment paper.
Finely cut the ganache into 9 even squares and dust with cacao powder! It's that easy!
☕️ Flavoring Nama Chocolate
The best thing about this recipe? There are hundreds of ways you can flavor Nama chocolate! Here are a few ideas on how to take your chocolate to the next level:
Use your favorite extracts to flavor the chocolates! I'm thinking caramel, orange, vanilla, or even coffee. Stir in ¼ to ½ teaspoon of extract just after pouring in the cream.
Amaretto, cherry liqueur, strawberry liqueur, or even Grand Marnier. Use about 1 tablespoon of liquor. A quick tip: make sure the liquor you are using is vegan, which is not always the case.
Spice up the chocolates with cinnamon, cardamom, or even ground chili for some heat. You can also use espresso powder for a delicious coffee flavor!
Feeling like having Nutella-flavored chocolate? Replace ¼ of the cream with hazelnut butter! And if you are not into hazelnuts, use peanut butter, almond butter, or pistachio butter!
- Before cutting into squares, run your knife under hot water and pat it dry. It will make it easier to cut the ganache and prevent the knife from sticking too much to the chocolates.
- If you don't want to leave thumbprints on the sides of the chocolates, handle them with gloves.
- Can I use coconut cream for this recipe? If you don't mind the coconut flavor, feel free to do so!
- What else can I substitute for the cashew cream? Use your favorite plant-based cream. I tried this recipe with soy cream, and it worked like a charm!
- How many chocolates does this recipe make? This recipe yields about 18 squares of 1-inch.
- Can I adjust the softness of the chocolates? Yes, you can play with the ratio of dark chocolate and cream. Use less cream for firmer chocolates, or add more for a softer texture.
- What is the best way to enjoy Nama chocolate? Nama chocolates are best enjoyed straight from the refrigerator. It's fresh, creamy, and it melts in your mouth!
- How to store Nama chocolate? Since the chocolates contain cream, store the chocolates in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- How long can I keep Nama chocolate? It will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
If you like truffles, you will definitely love this vegan nama chocolate recipe!
More Japanese-Inspired Vegan Sweets
Let me know in the comments, and leave a rating if you try this recipe!
Vegan Nama Chocolate
- ½ cup cashews soaked overnight
- ½ cup water
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 90 g cashew cream
- 1 tablespoon liqueur of choice optional
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 2 teaspoon cacao powder for dusting
- Drain the soaked cashews and transfer them to a blender. Add the water and blend until fully smooth, about 1 minute.
- Line two 3-inch square pastry cutters, or one 3x6-inch rectangle cutter with parchment paper. Another option is to use a small baking dish.
- Finely chop the dark chocolate and transfer it to a small mixing bowl.
- Heat the cashew cream (only 90g, not the whole batch of cashew cream) over medium heat in a small saucepan. Just before it comes to a boil, pour the hot cashew cream over the chopped dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Stir in the liqueur if using, and the vegan butter. Once fully combined, pour the ganache into the lined pastry cutters, or baking dish. Tap the baking dish a few times on the counter to remove air bubbles.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until the ganache has firmed up.
- Remove the chocolate from the baking dish. Run a large knife under hot water and pat it dry with a kitchen towel, repeat this step before every cut. Cut the chocolate into 1-inch squares.
- Using a fine sieve mesh, sprinkle cacao powder all over the top of the squares of chocolates. Transfer the chocolates to a plate or box and store in the refrigerator.
- Nama chocolates are best served chilled. It will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
There’s no sweetener at all for this chocolate nama recipe
The dark chocolate is already sweet enough.
If you are a fan of nama chocolate, this recipe is perfect for you. I tried and it was surprisingly easy to make. Plus, it tasted soooo good. Thank you for the recipe!!!😁👍🏼
You're welcome Miyuki! I'm happy to hear you liked the chocolates!
Nama chocolate is my love, nama chocolate is my life. After being a vegan, this is the thing that haunted me the most. I couldn’t find good ones in the areas near my place. Thanks to your blog, now I have good nama chocolate to eat and I also can gift them to my family and my friends. Next time, I’ll try to make a different flavor 🙂
Nama chocolate is also one of my fav treat 😉
Thanks for your rating Alice!
Is there a way to do this without any fat/ oil? Thank you!
I'm afraid there is not, Deniz. Nama chocolate is all about the creaminess and you can't get that with fat.