This deep red box contains four rows of seven chocolate hearts, each engraved with what would appear to be the, or possibly one of, Hotel Chocolat’s Valentines motif (of which more later, but on a much grander scale).
This is the Hotel Chocolat 70% dark chocolate blend, with it’s light, slightly bitter flavours, a depth of character characterised by a light mouthfeel, silky texture and a long finish. Given the fact that it also contains Madagascan cocoa nibs (one of my favourite nibbles) and a dash of chilli (not too, much mind, just a warming note which builds with each mouthful) and you have a fairly substantial and slightly unusual (in terms of flavour pairings at least) Valentine’s gift.
Something for Him perhaps? As I mentioned in a comment recently, I’ve been informed that on February 14th in Japan it is the turn of the women to buy presents for their men, who reciprocate a month later, thereby prolonging the whole business by an extra month, which surely can’t be a bad thing now, can it?
Anyway, back to the chocolate. I rather like Hotel Chocolat’s house dark blend, and while I adore some of their more esoteric products (St. Lucian single estate milk chocolate definitely being one of them) I found myself enjoying a few more of these than I had originally intended to. Chilli-phobes will be pleased to know that things never got out of hand on the heat front, and lovers of cocoa nibs and their nutty, vibrant flavours will be pleased to hear that the chilli didn’t obscure that pleasure either.
Being the generous soul that I am, I shall take them to work this week and see how they go down. Expect a report in the comments on this review.