Sunday, 16 June 2013

Hotel Chocolat New Selectors

Hotel Chocolat have recently revamped a large proportion of their chocolate range; not only are there new boxes/re branding but they have also introduced lots of new selector packs to tempt you with! I only popped in there to get a couple of bits n bobs for Father's Day but left with 6 new selector packs + a banana and caramel chocolate bar that was part of their summer range.

To kick things off I'm going to review a couple of the new selector packs that I have tried and tested so far. Normally I'm not big on packs of chocolate where every chocolate in the pack is of the same variety but Hotel Chocolat's are so delicious that I could quite happily eat one after another without getting bored! I suppose the plus is that at least you don't get a specific chocolate in the box you don't like!

The first Selector pack that I picked up was the Nutty Caramels; really with a name like that who could resist. A whole Piedmont hazelnut with smooth gianduja and salted caramel in a delicate looking cup this had me written all over it.

Hotel Chocolat Selector Packs

All I can say is "WOW"; this is good, I mean really really good. I generally use Hotel Chocolat's pralines as a bench mark when I come to judge how good other pralines are. For me their praline is ideal - creamy, nutty & just the right hint of sweetness.

Hotel Chocolat Selector Packs

This comes through perfectly in this chocolate. The gianduja is heavenly, a rich nutty flavour with an incredibly smooth texture that sits atop a salted caramel equally as delicious, with just the right hint of salty tang. Whilst burrowed deep inside lies a delicious crunchy whole hazelnut that offers a nice bit of contrast to the overall luxurious smoothness that this chocolate emulates. Outstanding in every way.

Hotel Chocolat Selector Packs

Next up we have the Chocolate Trifles; layers of biscuit, praline and vanilla truffle encased in a milk chocolate shell. This sounded equally as delicious as the Hazelnut Melt, and, although it was good, unfortunately it just wasn't as superb as the latter.

Hotel Chocolat Selector Packs

I felt that the proportions were slightly off in this chocolate; the shell is far too thick for the filling and you don't really get to appreciate the vanilla truffle & praline centre properly. Really it just seems like a mouthful of crunchy biscuit + chocolate with a slight hint of something else.

Hotel Chocolat Selector Packs

That's not saying that its not good; they are still delicious and far superior to a lot of chocolates that I have tasted but do they have that sublime quality that the Nutty Caramel possesses. Unfortunately not but with a slight rejigging of proportions I think this chocolate could be impeccable.

Hotel Chocolat Selector Packs

Taste -
Nutty Caramels  - 9.6/10 - Outstanding, sweet caramel with a slight tang blended with delicious hazelnut praline.

Chocolate Trifle - 7/10 - Good but the vanilla truffle and the chocolate praline don't shine enough in terms of flavour.

Texture -
Nutty Caramels - 9.8/10
- Heavenly; incredibly rich & smooth with a nice crunch from the hazelnut.

Chocolate Trifle - 6.2/10 - The proportions are slightly off; too much biscuit/chocolate.

AppearanceNutty Caramels  - 9.4/10 - Looks delightfully delicate.
Chocolate Trifle - 6.4/10 - More of a simplistic look but still appealing.

Price -Nutty Caramels  - 9.4/10 - Priced at £3.50 - great value for money
Chocolate Trifle - 7.2/10 - Priced at £3.50, good but not great, think there are probably nicer Selector Packs.

Overall -
Nutty Caramels  - 9.6/10 - One of the best chocolates I've had in a while.
Chocolate Trifle - 6.7/10 - Good but room for improvement.
Great for anyone that loves relatively simplistic yet delicious chocolates. Nothing too out there.

You'll be able to purchase these from any Hotel Chocolat store or on their website.

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