Monday, 6 October 2008

October 6th: Hotel Chocolat Boo!

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

This week we are taking a break from the 'Purist Range' and are turning our focus on to some of the seasonal offerings of Hotel Chocolat. Firstly I feel that I have to inform you that if there was in fact a 'Halloween Scrooge' of this world, they would probably take the shape of myself. It's not that I hate Halloween, its just I purely don't understand it. Not once in my twenty one years on this planet have I once thought of getting dressed up as a scary ghost/bat/vampire/Kerry Katona/Zombie and knocking on peoples doors for free chocolate/candy. Free samples from companies themselves ... well I can handle that - Hotel Chocolat were recently so kind as to send me these Halloween themed chocolates - 'A scary collection of horrific Halloween figures in ghoulishly good milk chocolate'.

These came in a 180g pack, in the form of sixteen individually wrapped chocolates in the shapes of skulls, bats, fingers, cats, tombstones and ghosts. There was no doubting that the chocolates looked impressive, the shapes were well crafted and each came with a plastic tray to help protect them inside the cardboard box. Despite being stored in plastic wrappers as opposed to foil ones, the chocolates still retained a remarkably appetising smell. The aroma was strong and forthcoming, and had strong dairy connotations, with even a sweet caramel like hint.

These individual chocolates were formed of the standard 40% House Milk chocolate. Their taste differed very little from the outstanding 40% slab - it had a delicous progressive, clean creamy taste that had a nicely balanced cocoa base flavour. The creamy flavours had a longing presence in the mouth, as expected this was milk chocolate in some of its finest form. The melt of the chocolate was excellent, though not without its issues. Due to the nature of some of the shapes it meant that some of the chocolates were irregular in the rate they melted. For instance the 'tombstones' and 'fiendish finger' shapes were both relatively thin in their thickness. As they were both too large to eat in just the one bite, it meant they had to be eaten in two not so substantial and flavoursome bites, this was just the smallest of annoyances. With the other shapes this was not so much of a problem, the chocolate melted superbly at a glorious rate into a smooth thick liquid. Despite their novelty look, these were some outstanding tasting chocolates. 

Overall despite these having scored particularly well and being absolutely fantastic in their taste, I'm struggling to come to terms with just one thing ... who are these meant for!? The back of pack suggests they are 'perfect for trick or treaters and sharing at Halloween parties' ... maybe this is my inner student talking, but are these amazingly high standard chocolates really the sort of thing you want to be handing out on mass to trick or treaters? ... or at a party? I am sure this is all but confirming me as the Halloween Scrooge, but I just couldn't bring myself to hand out such a high quality, great tasting product at such events - lets not kid ourselves, these are not the cheapest of products going. If unlike me you are going to be handing out chocolates this Halloween, and aren't petrified at the thought of sharing Hotel Chocolat chocolate willy nilly, then I can seriously recommend these. Just another instance of a great tasting, finely presented Hotel Chocolat product.

8.6 out of 10
 
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