I love Hotel Chocolat. Everything they do is of exceptional quality and beautifully presented. But I like them most when they come out with something completely outlandish, indulgent and just plain weird.
So as you might have guessed, I particularly like this.
What we have here is a large (400g) solid milk chocolate Christmas wreath that’s been packed full of cranberries, raisins, pistachios and almonds.
My photos don’t really do it justice, but to give you an idea of the size, this is what it looks like when served on a large plate…
Apart from the size, the most striking thing about this is the colours. The bright red cranberries and green pistachios are literally bursting out of the chocolate. The chocolate pine cones and holly leaves cracked to reveal whole pieces of fruit and nut underneath. Wonderful.
The milk chocolate itself is rich and dark. In fact, at 50% cocoa solids, it’s darker than some dark chocolates. The 20% milk solids do soften the flavour slightly, but not much. It both looks and tastes closer to a dark chocolate than a milk chocolate, but that’s probably a good thing.
The fruit and nuts add lots of interesting textures to the wreath, but they’re also packed with flavour. The cranberries in particular are deliciously tangy and work wonderfully with the chocolate – which makes me wonder how Cadbury managed to make something so flavourless with their own cranberry bar.
Clearly this is designed to be ther centrepiece of your Christmas dinner table (under no circumstances should you attempt to eat it alone!) At £13.70, it’s not cheap, but I still think it’s good value. It’s a decoration as well as a delicious hunk of chocolate for sharing over Christmas.
Oh, and it’s completely and utterly mad – a definite plus in my book.