Hotel Chocolat are doing some really interesting things at the moment. This year they opened an actual hotel on their cacao plantation in St. Lucia, where the restaurant is already getting rave reviews. We’ve yet to try it ourselves, but we’re hoping to be able to pay a visit soon!
Later this month, the company is opening their first shop in Scotland, which will feature a unique “Coffee vs Cocoa” café, featuring cacao based drinks made in the same espressos and lattes.
But despite all the exciting projects Hotel Chocolat are involved in, their bread and butter remains this kind of seasonal novelty item.
Not that there’s anything wrong with seasonal novelty items. Hotel Chocolat have always been particularly good at them, combining great packaging with quality ingredients. Christmas is of course, the perfect time of year for seasonal chocolate, and what better form than these cute mini crackers.
You get ten ‘crackers’ in a box, each filled with one of five chocolates. There’s a space to write someone’s name on each, so you can use them as cute place settings or simple decorations. Unlike proper crackers though, these don’t ‘crack’ when you pull them, but untwist and open to reveal the chocolate inside. It’s very clever, but not quite as satisfying as high explosives.
The chocolates you get are Rhubarb Fool, Billionaire Shortbread, Berry Mousse, Cinnamon Praline and Simple Milk Truffle. And this is what they look like:
A rather nice soft, smooth praline with a a gentle warming flavour.
My favourite of the bunch – a soft white chocolate mousse with a tangy rhubarb edge.
Caramel, cookies and praline in milk chocolate. Obviously a thousand times better than millionaire shortbread!
Another white chocolate mousse, this time with raspberries and strawberries.
Simple Milk Truffle
Exactly what it says. Nice enough, but I can’t help but thinking whoever gets this one will think they’ve lost out to the more interesting flavours a little bit!
Overall, a nice little selection. It’s a bit of a shame you only get one of five chocolates in each cracker. There’s no paper hat and no cheesy jokes, but they still make a nice little table decoration for a Christmas dinner.