In the kingdom of creams, what if namelaka was queen? Behind this unusual name hides a creamy cream, namelaka meaning “ultra-creamy” in Japanese, created by Frédéric Bau of the Valrhona school. And when we know that it is to this chef that we owe the invention of dulcey chocolate, we suspect that his cream is just waiting to be one of the classics!
But what is so special about namelaka, also called inverted ganache? We know that in baking as in cooking, adding a simple ingredient to a cream or sauce changes its name. Thus a béchamel sauce with grated cheese and egg yolk is transformed into Mornay sauce. Concerning the namelaka, it’s the same idea. If traditional ganache results from a cream + chocolate mixture, namelaka contains cream and chocolate, but also milk and gelatin. A mixture that is ultimately very “liquid” which gives rise to this very creamy state.
But where the namelaka is strong is that it can be used in two ways. Either in a raw version, like a cream to place in a quenelle on a plate and to combine with a crunchy biscuit texture, or beaten, like a whipped ganache, to obtain a tempting mousse. It can also be made with all the chocolates available: white, milk, dark, or even dulcey. But be careful, the quantities vary depending on the chocolate chosen!
To read: The basics of pastry: 11 cream recipes to know
The recipe for namelaka cream from the Valrhona school
For approximately 470 g of cream
2 g of gelatin
100 g of whole milk
170 g of white chocolate
200 g of cream with 25% fat
Soak the gelatin in a container filled with water.
Bring the milk to the boil, add the drained gelatin.
Melt the chocolate, add the boiling milk in three batches, incorporating all of the liquid between each addition.
Add the cold cream, mix until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
You can mix the cream to obtain a perfect mixture.
Pour into a dish, film on contact, leave to crystallize in the fridge.
Whether or not to whip the cream before shaping or serving.
How to flavor namelaka cream?
If the namelaka cream is enough in itself, the combination of cream and chocolate is enough to delight our taste buds, we can also add a few elements here and there to customize it as desired. A little fleur de sel to break up the sweetness of the white chocolate, citrus zest to bring freshness, pistachio paste, coffee extract, matcha tea, praline paste, all these ingredients – not all together! – can be added to the milk before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
But be careful, many gourmands have been fooled and devoured half the salad bowl before serving. When in doubt, increase the quantities, it’s preferable!