I absolutely love banana flavoured things; despite not being a huge fan of the fruit itself put the flavour of it into something and I'm normally a fan. Unfortunately it's one of those flavours which can be difficult to get right, a balacing act to ensure that the flavour is prominent but not overly artificial or sickly.
Enter Hotel Chocolat and their new Banoffee Pie limited editon selector packs, with only a small number available per store, it's one of those chocolates that when it's gone it's gone...could I really resist?! Described as "banana-milk mousse, sticky toffee sauce, organic banana flakes, shortbread biscuits, 40% milk", they sounded an absolute dream, modelled on the classic banoffee pie dessert.
Cutting one in half you can see the clear distinct layers of "mousse" (although texturally it's a bit denser than I would expect from a mousse) and sticky toffee sauce, encased in a milk chocolate shell with a yellow white chocolate topping adorned with the shortbread biscuits.
On eating the banana flavour builds, it's not punchy and in your face but quite subtle and blends in with the caramel to almost give a slight caramelised banana flavour. The milk chocolate is, as always, excellent quality, rich with deep, creamy notes. My only slight qualms are the use of milk chocolate, the top layer of banoffee pie is cream, acting as the perfect subtle flavour base to allow the flavours of the banana and the caramel to shine, and may only be slightly adorned with milk chocolate shavings. Also the "mousse" isn't really very mousse like, it would have been nicer had it been a bit lighter and fluffier.
I would have made the banana mousse white chocolate based rather than milk chocolate, I just feel it would have let the banana flavour shine a bit more and been similar to the flavour profile of banoffee pie. Having said that though this chocolate is still pretty delicious and very moreish. It's well balanced and offers a rather indulgent eat. The textural contrasts of the layers work well, the caramel is silky smooth and rich, whilst the shortbread biscuits on top add a nice crunch.
If you love banana flavoured things as much as I do then this a definite pick me up whilst it's out at Hotel Chocolat.
Taste - 8.1/10 - Would have liked if it had a bit of a stronger banana flavour and maybe a white chocolate mousse base to let the flavour shine through more. Still pretty delicious though.
Texture - 7.4/10 - Nice contrast of flavours, think the "mousse" could have been a bit lighter and fluffier.
Appearance - 8.5/10 - Look great, especially the visual of the layers.
Price - 8.0/10 - These are the same price as all the other selectors - £3.85 or £3.15 if you buy 3 or more.
Overall - 8.0/10 - A tasty limited edition chocolate that I'd love to see become part of the regular range.
Banana lovers, to be fair even if you're not the biggest fan of banana I think this chocolate could still be enjoyable as the flavour isn't overly dominating.
WHERE TO BUY?
Hotel Chocolat stores.