It’s been a while since we reviewed any Hotel Chocolat offerings, and I can’t even remember the last time I reviewed a proper box of chocolates from them. But this large (390g) box turned up on my doorstep last week demanding to be eaten, and who am I to refuse?
The box is packed with an assortment of milk chocolate truffles and ‘micro slabs’ (at least that’s what I call them) of solid milk chocolate of different varieties.
There are two of each chocolate, so this is perfect for sharing (and perfect for greedy chocolate reviewers like me).
So let’s see what we have here:
50% Cocoa Milk Chocolate
A wonderfully rich and flavoursome dark milk chocolate. Just the right balance of sweetness and cocoa flavour. Delicious.
40% Cocoa Milk Chocolate
Milkier and creamier than its 50% counterpart. The difference is noticeable, not just in the creaminess, but in how much more subtle the cocoa notes are.
Praline Milk Chocolate
A very soft and smooth little slab of milk chocolate and finely milled hazelnuts. Basically a Gianduja. Very nice indeed.
Honey Milk Chocolate
I’m not a fan of honey, and this little bar is packed with it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a honey milk chocolate before, and having tasted this, I know why. It’s way too sweet with significantly more honey flavour than chocolate flavour. Honey fans may like it, but personally it just made me feel sick.
Caramel Milk Chocolate
My favourite Hotel Chocolat milk chocolate. Smooth and creamy with a hint of caramel. Yum.
The same deliciously soft and creamy caramel milk chocolate with cookie pieces. Unfortunately my the two chocs in my box only had 4 pieces of cookie between them, so I can’t say they added a lot.
A large square of pecan praline with ‘crushed crispy pancake pieces’ which give it a really interesting texture. It’s crunchy, but also soft and smooth because those pieces are so tiny.
Caramel Mini Truffles
You get four of these little round caramel filled balls. The semi-liquid caramel is delicious, but it’s very sweet and the rich milk chocolate doesn’t quite manage to take the edge off that sweetness. Could be helped by a touch less sugar and a little bit of sea-salt, but still very nice.
A light, soft almond praline with crunchy bits and cinnamon. Lots of cinnamon. Definitely a winner with me.
Fruit & Nut
The leaflet describes this as a ‘light chocolate praline with nibbly pieces of roasted hazelnut’ and ‘succulent chunks of juicy sultanas’, but I found it to be quite heavy, and the sultana was barely noticeable. Not fruity at all. The leaflet also describes it as being ‘finished with a whole roasted hazelnut’, which it clearly isn’t – not even in the picture above the description. Definitely something wrong with this one.
Not a mini-Bounty, but a rich milk chocolate with two distinct layers of smooth filling. A dark macadamia praline and a white chocolate and coconut layer. A bit too sweet, and not coconutty enough for me. I think I would have preferred the Bounty.
A hazelnut praline with orange oil and puffed rice. The only fruity choc in this particular box, and it’s not bad a all. The praline is slightly heavy and dark, and I’d prefer something a little lighter, but the orange oil certainly helps to cut through the sweetness.
Very smooth Gianduja (hazelnut and chocolate paste) in a milk chocolate square. Rich, but delicious.
This one felt a little out of place. It’s filled with a macadamia paste and a whole macadamia nut rather than a praline, and I found it a little too nutty for my tastes. The flavours just didn’t quite work for me.
Caramel Fudge Praline
Probably my favourite chocolate in the box – and the least chocolatey. Almond praline with a tasty fudge, covered in caramel milk chocolate. It’s sweet, but it’s light enough in texture to be quite moreish. Very nice indeed.
So there you have it. This is a quality box of chocolates, but to get the most out of it, you’re going to need two things – a very sweet tooth, and a friend to share them with. If you have both those, it’s worth giving a go.
But they are very rich and there’s a lot of large chocolates here. If, like me, you try eating them alone, you’ll almost certainly end up in milk oblivion.