This review of the 'Christmas Fusion' slab wraps up my look at the Hotel Chocolat 'Christmas Peepster Box'. What with the success of the 'Christmas Bauble', 'Christmas Chimes' and 'Heavenly Holly' variants I was pretty confident that this slab would offer a similarly pleasurable experience. Described as 'creamy cinnamon spiced white chocolate swirled with 40% cocoa milk chocolate', this was the first product outside of Germany I have seen to include cinnamon as an explicitly stated ingredient.
As with the others from the range, this slab came in a 100.0g form that provided me with two plentiful servings. I liked the looked of this slab, unlike the 'Christmas Bauble' the mixture of the two different chocolates included the fantastic swirl pattern, which just made it look that little bit better. The Christmas tree decorative piece wasn't the greatest looking, though the snowdrop pieces further added to the spectacle of the slab aesthetically. As well as looking well presented the bar smelt fantastic. As soon as I opened the plastic packaging I was met with a glorious combination of nutty, spicy, dairy scents - this didn't fail in furthering my already high expectations.
The contrast in flavours between the milk chocolate and enhanced white chocolate was absolutely superb. On one hand the milk chocolate offered a clean and crisp, pure cocoa taste that as I have referred to so many times really is milk chocolate at its finest. The other white chocolate had a wonderfully creamy, buttery taste. The added hazelnut and cinnamon elements were most noticeable during the absolutely divine aftertaste, which was heavily influenced by the nutty, spicy flavours. Aside from the taste, the textures of the two chocolates were also very distinguishable. The white chocolate was noticeabley softer than the milk chocolate. Although the melt was still as incredibly smooth and thick as the milk chocolate, the white chocolate did melt the faster of the two meaning that it didn't last quite as long in the mouth. This wasn't too much of an issue though, as aforementioned the aftertaste of the white chocolate left a long impression in the mouth. The pieces of the slab I most enjoyed were the 'swirled' pieces that combined both the different chocolates - the milk chocolate tree printed on the white chocolate part of the slab in particular provided a delicious finale.
Overall this was an absolutely fantastic and innovative slab from Hotel Chocolat. This was definitely my favourite from the 'Christmas Peepster Box', and thankfully lived up to all expectations - I left it till last for the reason it looked the most interesting of the lot. The mixture of the as ever superb 40% milk chocolate and the spiced, nutty white chocolate was one of the most unique combinations I have ever tasted - especially for chocolate made by a UK based company. The only slight fault I could find with the chocolate was the slightly softer nature of the white chocolate - as mentioned though this really was of no great concern given the lengthy flavour longevity. I would seriously recommend this as a great Christmas chocolate. Having also now reviewed the whole 'Christmas Peepster Box', I would also whole heartily recommend the product - it has a classic range of both classic and innovative chocolate combinations. If you want to ensure putting a smile on someones face this Christmas, Hotel Chocolat in my opinion is the way to go.
8.9 out of 10