October 20th: Hotel Chocolat Kissing Mistletoe / Little Angels

Yes indeed it is getting round to that time of year already - and it is my favourite time of year CHRISTMAS!!! So what does Christmas mean in the chocolate world?? Special seasonal lines that's what! Yours truly in the coming weeks will be bringing you reviews of the finest selections this Christmas. Hotel Chocolat have already been kind enough to supply me with some of their seasonal stock - no better place to kick off in my book.

Both these products came in wonderfully presented 110.0g boxes that included ten chocolates in each. The 'Kissing
Mistletoe' was formed of the 40% house milk chocolate, whilst the 'Little Angels' included five white chocolate pieces and five caramel chocolate pieces.

The presentation
of these products was brilliant - though to be honest I wasn't expecting anything else! The boxes had classy design work, and the chocolates inside were nicely arranged in plastic trays with several protective layers. I preferred the design of the 'Mistletoe' chocolates to the 'Little Angels' mainly due to the design work looking more interesting and intricate. Both products smelt wonderful, the milk chocolate 'Mistletoe' radiated more cocoa concentrated scents, whilst the little angels were of a mixture of strong dairy, sweet toffee smells. YUM!!

Anyway enough of the descriptive stuff - how did they taste??

Hotel Chocolat Kissing Mistletoe:

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

Comprised of the 40% house milk chocolate these followed much the same premise as the Hotel Chocolat Boo Halloween chocolates that I reviewed a few weeks ago, though there were a few subtle differences that enabled these Mistletoe pieces to score ever so slightly higher.

though I have described the taste of the 40% house milk several times I see no harm in doing so once more :) The milk chocolate had the delicious milky taste that I had come to expect from the 40% formulation. I can't emphasise enough how brilliantly crisp the taste was. The nature of the slow and longing melt meant the intensity of the creamy flavours progressed at a wonderful rate. Though the flavours were predominantly milky, there always seemed to be a strong cocoa background flavour which made the chocolate seem to last all that much longer providing a very satisfying experience. The 'Mistletoe' shapes were nicely formed, and provided around two plentiful mouthfuls per piece. In my opinion this gave them the edge over the BOO Halloween chocolates as some of the shapes from that selection were awkward to eat and thin in places - the textures were far more consistent in this 'Mistletoe' form.

Overall as
to be expected these delivered milk chocolate in some of its finest form. For a more seasonal and fun themed version of the original 40% house slab you can go little wrong here.

8.8 out of 10

Hotel Chocolat Little Angels:

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

I must say when I saw these in the selection sent to me I was particularly excited. Good memories of the Hotel Chocolat 'Caramellow' and 'Praline White' came flooding back to me - thankfully these 'Little Angels' certainly lived up to expectations.

I started by eating the white chocolate pieces. They had a fantastic melt that felt ever so soft and very smooth. The milky flavours had a nice progressive nature that seemed to get creamier and creamier as the melt progressed. The aftertaste was noted strongly with vanilla, culminating in one massively moreish overall taste. A fantastic white chocolate - possibly the best I have tasted so far on ChocolateMission! Someone get me a slab of this stuff pronto!!

Next up were the caramel chocolate pieces. The melt with these was slightly slower than with the white chocolate and the milk chocolate, though it was equally as smooth. The caramel chocolate pieces were noticeably slower at releasing their flavours, though once the taste was evident it was multi-dimensional with different cocoa and sweet, buttery, toffee like flavours mixing into one delicious taste. The caramel angels did not leave the same flavour longevity in the mouth, though were equally as moreish as the white angels.

Overall both these different flavours are devilishly addictive and were chocolate of the highest quality. The only slight drawback with this product was the annoyance of the angel design, they were thicker in some places than others and were simply just an awkward shape to eat. In the grand scheme of things though the taste of both the white and caramel chocolates more than made up for this slight negative. Be warned if you are buying these chocolates to share ... don't expect them to last long.

8.8 out of 10

Not a bad start for the Christmas 2008 reviews eh!? Then again did we really expect anything less from Hotel Chocolat? If there are any Christmas products you especially want to see reviewed before you buy them for your lucky loved ones or even yourselves ... please just leave a request.