Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Hotel Chocolat The H-Box Christmas Selection

So Halloween is over and done with; which can only mean one thing - roll on Christmas and all its festivities; although Christmas products have been in the shops for over a month now I think things always step up a gear once all of the Halloween stock has been cleared out.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas H Box I always love the seasonal ranges that Hotel Chocolat produce, I find that they're that perfect mix between quality but also affordability; yes they are a tad more expensive than the chocolates you are going to find gracing the supermarket shelves but they're not unaccesible in terms of price for most people, especially for a treat/gifting occasion.

The Christmas H-Box contains 14 chocolates, 13 different varieties, with seasonal inspired flavours/shapes.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas H Box

Caramel Christmas Tree - cast in Hotel Chocolat's classic caramel chocolate; this seasonal shape is delicious, light chocolate flavours with sweet caramel and toffee undertones with a gorgeous smooth texture. I adore Hotel Chocolat's caramel chocolate.

Marzipan Merry - A marzipan chocolate isn't one I would normally choose; despite being a big fan of nuts in chocolates in terms of pralines, marzipan isn't something that I am particularly fond of, but Hotel Chocolat do it so well. No gritty overly sweet marzipan here; just light almond flavoured smooth goodness, coated in dark chocolate, this was a pleasant surprise.

Champagne Truffle - Alcohol + chocolate + I, we don't really get on that well to be honest, so again I feel like I can't fully judge this chocolate properly as I never particularly enjoy alcoholic chocolates. This does have a good boozy kick so for those of you that do enjoy a good dash of alcohol in your chocolates then you are going to love this. Of course the texture of the truffle is sublime, melt in the mouth smooth.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas H Box

Bauble Truffle - A simple milk chocolate truffle can be a fine thing when executed well and this is gorgeous; smooth melt in the mouth truffle centre that is perfect to just pop into your mouth and let melt to realease all of the wonderful rich chocolate notes. Like a Lindor, but better.
Caramel Supernova - If you're a fan of Hotel Chocolat's liquid caramels then you are going to love this; in my opinion it was even better than their usual due to the thick exterior of the supernova shape; not only does it look good, but it eats brilliantly and there's 2 of these in the box. Sweet, sticky caramel goodness.
Mulled Wine -  As stated above, I'm not big on alcoholic chocolates so I don't feel that I can judge this fairly; all I'll say is that you certainly get a good kick of alcohol with fruity notes from the pimento orange. I'm sure if you love mulled wine then you'll adore this.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas H Box

Nutty Caramel - I've had this chocolate a few times now and still haven't got sick of it; it appeals to everything I love in a chocolate, smooth sweet rich caramel, delicious hazelnut praline, a whole hazelnut, sitting in a milk chocolate shell. Utterly delicious.

Praline Supernova - I love Hotel Chocolat's pralines and this is no exception; the chocolate exterior on this seemed a lot thicker compared to their standard pralines due to the shape of it which meant the ratio of praline:chocolate seemed a bit lower. Either way it was still delicious, with the classic nutty sweet flavours that Hotel Chocolat does so well.

Gingerbread Truffle - A lovely smooth truffle complete with gingerbread spices; a warming chocolate perfect for those winter evenings. The texture, as usual, is spot on, smooth, creamy and delicious to just pop into your mouth and let melt.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas H Box

Christmas Eton Mess - A cranberry and raspberry filling coated in white chocolate and topped with meringue and dried raspberry pieces. I was a bit disappointed with this one in terms of texture; I've had Hotel Chocolat's Eton Mess/Christmas Eton Mess before and the centre is normally quite smooth and mousse like. However in this chocolate it had gone quite dry and seemed to form a complete mass with the white chocolate exterior. I'm hoping that this was just a bad batch and they haven't changed the recipe.

Almond & Nutmeg - One of my favourite chocolates in the box; I haven't seen this chocolate in store before so not sure whether it is just a winter special but it was utterly delicious. A smooth almond praline spiced with nutmeg; it evoked everything that a winter praline should. Creamy, nutty, smooth with that perfect hint of spice.

Berry Christmas - A white chocolate ganache centre with a tart berry swirl; I like that they had incorporated the 2 flavours separately as opposed to blending the berry flavour into the ganache. I felt that it gave it a creamier eat and a better overall contrast to the dark chocolate. Yum.

Christmas Gianduja - I was a tad disappointed when I found out that this gianduja was made with dark chocolate; milk would always be my preference. However that's not to say its not good; possessing rich hazelnut flavours and speckled with dried berry pieces its still a nice chocolate, I was just hoping for something a bit sweeter. Maybe next year they could offer a milk/dark variety.

Taste - 7.7/10 - A good mixed box with something that everyone should enjoy; I think despite it having alcohollic chocolates in I would still purchase it for myself as the rest of the chocolates in it are so good...I would just find another member of family/friends to give my unwanted alcoholic ones too. Again this is only down to personal preference as opposed to there being anything wrong with the chocolates.
Texture - 7.9/10 - The truffles are easily the best textured products in the whole of this box, they are sublime, I was disappointed with the Christmas Eton Mess though as I'm unsure what had happened to it as it isn't how I had experienced in the past and was far too dry.
Apperance - 9/10 - Look beautiful and come complete with a good detailed menu.
Price - 7.5/10 - £12.00 for 14 chocolates puts them under the £1 a chocolate mark; affordable and would make a lovely Christmas gift.
Overall - 8/10 - A nice selection, I'd make a couple of tweaks and am curious as to whether the Christmas Eton Mess texture is meant to be like that, but overall I can't complain and would definitely buy these as a gift for anyone that enjoys a good box of quality chocolates at Christmas.
Definitely more suited to adults as opposed to children and would make a great Christmas gift.

Online here, Hotel Chocolat stores or concession in John Lewis.

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