Sunday, 5 June 2011

Hotel Chocolat 50% 'Dash of Milk' with Caramel Purist Bar

As you all know Hotel Chocolat produce a wide range of novel, filled and boxed chocolates but a recent addition to their company has been that of the Purist range, chocolates created much more with the chocolate connoisseur in mind. Comprising of single origin bars and pralines with varying cacao percentages, conch times and origins to produce pure unblended chocolate with various unique flavours and tastes.

Hotel Chocolat 50% 'Dash of Milk' with Caramel Purist Bar

With this I decided it was time to try and delve into the Purist range to see if Hotel Chocolat could match what they bring to the table in their other chocolate ranges when compared to their approach on finer bars. The first bar I decided to try was their 50% Dash of Milk with Caramel; made with the Trinitario cocoa beans from their plantation in St Lucia with just a hint of milk and small caramel brittle pieces blended throughout, they conch the bar for a much shorter period of 48 hours due to the addition of the already mellowing milk in the bar producing a bar that is inbetween a classic milk and a classic dark.

There is no doubt that this bar lives up to what the Purist range should do, it offers much more of a conossieur experience from the initial packaging to the flavours present in the bar. I really liked the way the bar was actually packaged, despite it getting broken in the post, snif, it had a good amount of detail about how the bar was made and what you can expect from the flavours offered within and the actual chocolate was gorgeously smooth with a good clean crisp snap.

Hotel Chocolat 50% 'Dash of Milk' with Caramel Purist Bar

The flavour of the bar I found, although being only 50% offered a lot more depth and possessed a much stronger flavour than a huge amount of darker chocolate bars I've tried, this is probably due to the shorter conch time. It started off quite acidic with fruity citrus notes appearing before leading way to a much sweeter well rounded caramel flavour with slight crunch added by the nibs present throughout the bar. The melt itself was very good, very even, smooth and enrobed the mouth wonderfully whilst the presence of the caramel brittle pieces weren't large enough to pose any obtrusion to the smoothness of the melt.

Is this a good bar? Yes it definately is, you can tell just from the appearance, the flavour profile and depth it offers, you can tell that Hotel Chocolat have really excelled in what they are trying to achieve with the Purist Range. However in terms of my personal preference it wasn't really for me; I prefer my chocolates either definate milk or definate dark, I don't seem to be a fan of anything lingering in the middle, sitting on the chocolate fence! I found it just a bit too intense and would have preferred it slightly more mellow unfornuately, but is it one to try? Most certainly!

Hotel Chocolat 50% 'Dash of Milk' with Caramel Purist Bar

Taste - 6.4/10 - You can tell the flavours are excellent, good strong hints of citrus with mellowness of caramel but just didn't hit the spot for me.
Texture - 7.2/10 - Good smooth even melt chocolate and excellent crisp snap.
Appearance - 7.8/10 - Loved the way the bar was presented and was gorgeously shiny.
Price - 6.8/10 - This is priced at £5 for a 70g bar, in terms of the pricing range for finer bars this is pretty much the standard, I would probably pay this once but wouldn't come back for more just due to personal preference.
Overall - 7/10 - No doubt a fine quality bar just not my cup of tea.

To take a look at Hotel Chocolat's Purist Range you can visit their website at


  1. Looks good! I think there's a Hotel Chocolat near me. Maybe I should go check it out.

  2. I like most of the purist range from Hotel Chocolat - especially the Earl Grey bar