Last week, Dom and I were invited down to Central London for a sneak preview of Hotel Chocolat’s Easter range. You may have seen some photos, in which case you will already know that Hotel Chocolat have an Easter mascot in the shape of Beau Bunny, who added a slightly surreal element to the evening’s proceedings (especially if you’ve ever watched James Stewart in ‘Harvey’).
This ‘quintessentially English, slightly eccentric’ character can be found across most of the Easter range, on packaging and even on the eggs themselves (of which more later, as we say) and his adventures across Europe will be available to watch on YouTube.
This box is home to a selection of Hotel Chocolat’s Egglets, which are available in a variety of packages (of which more later!) with this being the flagship Egglet box. Egglets? Yes, Egglets, because this Easter Hotel Chocolat is very much about the Egglets – slightly elongated, thick shelled chocolate eggs containing a variety of flavours.
There are eighteen egglets – two each of nine flavours – and a slightly random lemon truffle placed squarely in the centre of the box. The emphasis here is pretty much on milk chocolate. Indeed, I was mildly disappointed to discover only two dark chocolate Egglets in the box but that’s just me.
So what do we have? A brace of white chocolate Egglets with either Vanilla Truffle or Classic Praline, five milk chocolate Egglets which include a Salted Caramel, Pink Champagne and Honey & almond, and the two dark chocolate Egglets – Irish Coffee and Chilli Praline respectively.
If you know Hotel Chocolat’s products then you’ll be familiar with the actual chocolate itself. If you’re not THAT familiar with their goods there are plenty of helpful reviews contained within this blog, so there’s no real need to go into too much detail. Suffice to say that as someone who prefers the ‘more cacao, less sugar’ approach, I found the overall style of the box to be a little sweet for my tastes.
The predominance of milk chocolate (and HC’s milk chocolate is on the sweet side) really puts this box squarely in the ‘family chocolates’ bracket – albeit a slightly posh family who don’t mind spending £25 on a box of chocolates!
The fillings are really the crux of the matter here, and I found most of them to be very agreeable. The Salted Caramel was well balanced, the Pecan & Praline delivered rich, deep nutty flavours, the Cherry Bombe was bright and zingy, and the Irish Coffee was a bit of a surprise with it’s boozy coffee punchiness.
I did find the Lemon truffle a bit incongruous, sat there in the centre of the box with it’s spherical shape and lemon sugar dusting. In fact it was probably my favourite of the white chocolates due to a really lovely tart lemon burst which cut through the sweetness of the white chocolate a treat.
There’s nothing dangerous or eccentric here (other than a man with a rabbit head on the box) but there are some good combinations of flavours which would satisfy the majority of chocolate lovers, and it’s definitely a cut above your average Easter chocolates although at £25 a box it would have to be!