Nama choco. When Valentine hell is paved with weird ideas…

Nama choco. That’s a ganache, a melty creamed chocolate.
Yes, I’m covering you with chocolate. It’s the season. We have no Christmas nor Easter chocolates in Japan, that’s all for Valentine. Read here about the local tradition and the shopping party

Nama means “raw”, but nama choco is not raw chocolate. That’s because these ganaches are made with cream (nama cream > raw cream) and also because in Japan, like anywhere, you can buy 2 types of cakes/sweets, some are dry and can be kept a while in a cupboard, some are fresh and should be eaten in a few days or hours. They are called higashi (dry sweets) second type are called namagashi (fresh sweets). So we have this fresh chocolate.

These square ones are called ishidatami choco and sometimes we can see the French name “pavés au chocolat”. Both mean chocolate sett/cobblestones. But, but… when I speak in French, a “pavé au chocolat” is a small cake like a brownie.

Normal recipe : Heat one cup of full cream at about 80 degrees. Then mix in 1.5 cup of grated dark chocolate, stir till it becomes a velvet sauce. Add in flavoring syrup, sugar (or for a pro finish glucose gel). Pour on baking sheet. Let 30 minutes. Then 30 minutes in the fridge. Cut squares and roll them in cocoa. Store up to 5 days in the fridge.

Bwa ha ha… Fugly ! That’s why people buy them, to get them so perfectly shaped. Well, no with the normal recipe, they can easily be perfect.

What happened :
I made them vegan. I didn’t have to, just an idea like that.
I had no cream in stock, no chocolate (I keep only chocolate mass… because of mice, you know). And I had some coconut cream to use or lose. Also, I have trouble digesting raw cream so I thought coconut cream would make the easier on the stomach… well it didn’t.

So I took 1 cup coconut cream with a little almond oil + 1.5 cup of cocoa mass. Both ingredients react differently from dairy cream and chocolate. Cocoa mass is less fat than chocolate, it contains more solids, less fat. They didn’t mix in, the fat was floating over… So I have made a sort of mousse with the hand-mixer and I had to spread it while it was already hardened. They are irregular and they had some stains of white on the top (imperfectly blended fat) that I could scrap away.
Bottom line : don’t do that. Use either normal cream or normal chocolate and your life will be easier.

But they are great in taste !

Really delicious like those from the best chocolatiers ? No, much better !
Flavoring is a subtle mix of apricot liquor, bitter almond and coffee. That adds to the coconut and sweet almond oil used as cream. They are very light in sugar.
Let’s decorate them :

With snow. Well, icing sugar.

Girly. With sweet potato powder.

Sparkling. With sweet cinnamon and shiny sugar.


Coconutelia in 3 minutes

Shiny chocolate sauce on my moffle… Yummy ! And the brand is :

Maison Gourmande. DIY

If you don’t care about quality, you can buy a jar of “chocolate and nut spread”. That tastes good. Some brands are extremely popular, thanks to extensive promotion campaigns aiming children and even uneducated adults. Now, if you have finished primary school, you have probably turned the jar to read : sugar, palm oil, some flavorings and preservatives. But roughly, you are getting 3/4th of sweetened cheap oil.

A quality spread would contain this. So let’s make some.

For the fat, coconut butter (that floats on top of a can). For the nutty taste, I added some dry coconut flakes :

Lots of pure cocoa. For 1/2 cup, I find that 1/2 ts of cane sugar is enough. I added a little natural vanilla essence :

The bowl on top of a pan of hot water, I added a little coconut milk and beat. The fat and sugar melt.

When it cooled, I got a creamy texture, except for the coconut flakes (I could have passed them in the blender). Taste is so full of chocolate.
For the infamous hazelnut version : skip the coconut flakes and replace by a dozen of roasted hazelnuts that you paste in a mortar or a blender.
Of course, keep refrigerated and only a few days.

Sweet brunch, the coconutelia moffle with blueberry coconut muesli and coffee.

Agar du jour : 3 textures for a belle-hélène

Another version of agar jelly made with pear, vanilla, chocolate flavors inspired by the classic poire belle-hélène.
Yes, I’m agar addicted. For those that don’t follow, I explain it again. This seaweed has a fiber that is a great digestion regulator especially in hot weather. So it’s good to eat a small amount most days.

Firm cubes of pear juice and lemon juice. Pear juice is bottled, we don’t have the pears yet.

A fresh cream, strongly vegetal made of sily tofu, coconut butter , vanilla essence.

Cocoa mass, simply melt.
Well, a nice Summer dessert.