“Gorgeous Heart – Fruity Affair” is a silly name for a silly chocolate. Brilliantly silly, that is. A successor to last year’s ‘Heart Strings‘, this giant 650 gram heart comes in very similar packaging, laced up down the middle and finished with a bow.
Unlace the box and open the doors to reveal the beating heart inside…
OK, so it’s not actually beating, but I’m fairly sure the boffins at Hotel Chocolat are working on a way to make that happen for next year’s product line up.
Just like the ‘Heart Strings’ heart, the packaging is stunning. It’s not just the quality of the materials, it’s the thought that’s gone into the experience of opening the box and revealing the chocolate inside. Something most people take for granted is really important for a Valentine’s gift, and Hotel Chocolat have got it spot on.
Last year, my heart was broken when it arrived, but this year it turned up completely intact. I can only assume the delivery guy who smashed my heart in a jealous fit of rage last year has been fired. Shame. But the fact is, the only way to eat something like this is to smash it anyway. Not that I mind – it all ends up broken in my tummy anyway.
The milk chocolate is 40% cocoa solids and is as smooth and creamy and delicious as you’d expect from Hotel Chocolat. The fruitness comes from swirls of 28% white chocolate flavoured with strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrent. Each bite tastes slightly different, as you get different quantities of the swirls with every mouthful. Those swirls are quite sweet and tangy, but they only go down a couple of millimetres, so the overall experience is quite subtle.
The decorative balls are fruit and white chocolate shells filled with praline, and while they’re impossible to remove from the chocolate, I’d be quite happy with a bag of them on their own. The fruit and nutty praline make an excellent combination.
Of course, there’s another surprise when you turn the heart over. Not only is there a beautifully embossed design, but it’s pressed with tiny beads of caramelised puffed rise. This gives parts of the chocolate a nice crunchy texture, but I’m not entirely convinced by it because most of them fall out and end up all over the you and the floor the moment you lift it up. Perhaps Hotel Chocolat just want you to get a bit messy with your fruity affair.
I’ve said it before about Hotel Chocolat’s Valentines products and I’ll say it again. If you love a chocolate lover, get them one of these. I seriously doubt either of you will regret it.