Following on from my reviews of the Hotel Chocolat Puddles Rhubarb & Custard and Raspberry Ripple I today got round to casting my eye over the other two variants that Hotel Chocolat so kindly sent me. Just as with the previous two these Citrus and Salted Caramel flavours came in 140.0g bags. Although both were devilishly moreish I was surprised at the length of time that they both lasted despite me frequently consuming handfuls at a time. Below are my thoughts of each of the two flavours below:
Hotel Chocolat Puddles Citrus:
I have recently been writing about how there is a shocking lack of citrus fruit and chocolate combinations but it seems that at least a few brands are starting to cotton on to this. Described as 'white chocolate with tangerine flakes and essential oil of Mexican lime' I was rather hoping this was going to be more along the lines of the better quality Raspberry Ripple than the poorer Rhubarb & Custard.
As soon as I opened the bag it was evident that this was going to be a very fruity chocolate as the lime made itself immediately evident with its delightful scents. I am glad to say that when it came to the taste the white chocolate was akin to the Raspberry Ripple and displayed the same cream led vanilla noted flavours. What really made this product stand out to me though was the way the citrus fruits were implemented. They could easily have been overly strong and sour but Hotel Chocolat managed to find an extremely good balance here. Both the tangerine and lime elements were distinguishable with the lime having a more constant tangy presence throughout the duration of the taste. The orangey flavours of the tangerine came through wonderfully when the flakes were encountered and made for a delightful progressive set of flavours.
Overall these were absolutely fantastic and combined a luxuriously creamy chocolate with a refreshing set of strong citrus flavours. Despite the threat of the fruits becoming over dominant in the taste the balance for me was absolutely spot on and this culminated in a quite frankly delicious and unique tasting white chocolate. I highly recommend these.
Hotel Chocolat Puddles Salted Caramel:
Despite two out of the three white chocolate variants being rather good I was also pleased that Hotel Chocolat sent along these milk chocolate flavoured Puddles as I was nearing white chocolate overload. Described as 'solid discs of salted caramel milk chocolate' my hopes were pretty high due to products like the Caramellow slab etc ... suffice to say I wasn't let down.
Opening the packet I was once again astounded and extremely tempted by the strength of the aromas I was met with. A strong smell of toffee soon overcame my senses and I simply couldn't stop myself digging in right away. Just as with my past experiences of the Caramellow slab the chocolate here was simply divine on every level. The cocoa flavours were evident from the outset, though the progressive nature of the taste meant that they ebbed and flowed with several other key flavour notes that dominated the taste. The caramel element within the chocolate was absolutely superb - as the thick melting nature of the chocolate progressed there were hints of brown sugar, toffee and butterscotch. The aftertaste was also splendid and was noted with a delightful lick of salt that had me reaching back into the packet frequently.
Overall these were exactly what I expected and that was nothing short of excellent. The flavours of the chocolate progressed so fantastically as the Puddles were consumed and just made for an experience that was as enjoyable as it was satisfying. The contrasting sweet and salt flavour notes made for a chocolate that was ever so moreish in every sense and again leads to me highly recommend these.
8.8 out of 10