So here we are, in November, the clocks have gone back and we are well and truly into Autumn. Although Christmas chocolates have been on the shelves for a couple of months ago its important not to forget other delicious Autumnal chocolate delights you can get your hands on!
I was lucky enough to be sent this Autumn Sleekster from Hotel Chocolat; consisting of 28 chocolates & 13 different types there is something for everyone.
Pistachio Praline - 7.3/10
This consisted of a pistachio praline flavoured with rose & cherry pieces in a white chocolate cup. Normal pralines are usually hazelnut so it was nice to try something a bit different; subtle but deliciously creamy with the rose hints coming through nicely to give a background floral flavour.
Apple Strudel - 8.8/10
By far one of my favourite chocolates in the box, an apple truffle topped with a cinnamon & walnut praline this tasted like Autumn in chocolate form! The apple truffle added a lovely refreshing flavour to the chocolate which contrasted perfectly with the deeper spiced praline. The crushed amaretti biscuits on top finished it off with a perfect crunchy texture!
Salted Caramel Praline - 9.4/10
My favourite chocolate! This was absolute heaven; if you love your pralines you are going to adore this! The texture is incredibly smooth with a gorgeous slightly salted almond praline & a salted caramel topping. I could have quite easily eaten a box of 28 of these!!
Praline Pumpkin - 7/10
It's lovely to see a novel but delicious chocolate in this box; Hotel Chocolat's classic hazelnut praline wrapped in white chocolate dyed orange. It is a much sweeter praline to to the others due to the white chocolate coating, so it will go down well with those with a big sweet tooth!
Milk Praline Acorn - 8.6/10
Again a beautifully crafted chocolate praline made to look like an acorn. Filled with a hazelnut praline this is a much richer praline compared to that of the pumpkin; the balance between nutty/sweet was ideal for me and shows how good of a praline Hotel Chocolat make!
Treacle Tarts - 7.2/10
Compared to your usual liquid caramel the Treacle Tart offers a much deeper experience; a richer, thicker & gooier caramel that felt oh so indulgent. Topped with a circular shortbread biscuit to finish it off meant that there was a lovely texture contrast between runny/smooth & crunchy!
Burnt Caramels - 6.9/10
Similar to Treacle Tart but a runnier caramel encased in dark chocolate; quite nice and the dark chocolate means that overall it never becomes too sweet/sickly.
Egg & Brandy Truffle - 3.8/10
Although I've given this a low score I felt that I couldn't review it fairly as I really don't like alcoholic chocolates & this one certainly packed a punch! I was hoping I might have liked it as I am quite partial to a bit of eggnog...well an eggnog latte over the winter period. However this was just a bit too much for me; if you're partial to a booze filled chocolate opt for this one!
Sloe Gin - 3.2/10
Unfortunately my camera deleted the photo of these when it was transferring them to my laptop but -
Again, extremely alcoholic; even more so that the Egg & Brandy truffle; good rich milk chocolate but the boozy after burn was again too much for me!
Mulled Port - 5.2/10
Considering this was an alcoholic chocolate it wasn't all that bad! There was a lovely orange + spice flavour from the Pimento, whilst the texture of the filling was wonderfully smooth. Although I probably wouldn't specifically choose this one I can say that it was definitely executed well.
Irish Whiskey + Cream - 5.7/10
When I first tasted this chocolate I thought that I may have eventually found an alcoholic chocolate that I'd liked! The initial taste is gorgeously creamy milk chocolate truffle but the aftertaste from the whiskey put me off slightly; however I can see that whiskey lovers will adore this!!!
Blackcurrant Bombe - 7.4/10
A blackcurrant ganache encased in white chocolate; lovely contrast between sweetness from the white chocolate & sharpness from the blackcurrant offered up a well balanced delicious chocolate.
Blackberry Truffle - 6.9/10
Although not as nice as the Blackcurrant Bombe this was still a lovely chocolate; the truffle filling was creamy & smooth with good fruity notes that paired well with the dark chocolate exterior for a rich yet fruity chocolate.
Overall I think this was a lovely box of chocolates; especially one that would be great to share with the family as there certainly is something for everyone in here. Even if you're not a fan of alcoholic chocolates, like me, I would still recommend it as the other ones are so good they completely make up for not being a huge fan of the ones containing alcohol!
Taste - 8.5/10 - Hotel Chocolat's chocolates are always great; the only let down was my disliking for the alcoholic chocolates, but this is just personal preference.
Textures - 9.4/10 - Textures are spot on.
Appearance - 9.2/10 - Beautiful.
Price - 8/10 - Priced at £23 they work out at less than £1 per chocolate! Pretty good value.
Overall- 8.8/10 - Delicious
A great selection for the whole family.
WHERE TO BUY?
In Hotel Chocolat stores or online here.