September 1st: Hotel Chocolat The Sleekster White and Light Selection - Part 1

Well this looks rather good doesn't it!? That was my immediate thought when I took my first look at this box of chocolates. Indeed my pals at Hotel Chocolat have seen fit to send me two of their latest chocolate collections, and today I bring you Part 1 (of 2!) of my look at the White & Light Selection.

Hotel Chocolat described this product as the 'finest collection of mellow white chocolates' and it was formed of 16 ... yes 16 different pieces. As there were two of each pieces I decided to give half to my family, so over the next few days expect a few alternative views to my own.

Before I crack on to the chocolates themselves I would like to pass comment at the stunning presentation. The packaging oozed quality with a very premium look and was only to be outshone by the chocolates themselves. Both myself and and the rest of family loved the way that each piece had been crafted and decorated with such care - I hope the photos below do them some sort of justice.

In the interest of boring you to death lets crack on with how good each piece was. With their being so many pieces I will tackle the first lot today and then tomorrow finish off with the remaining pieces and the all important ChocolateMission score. As with every selection box the rating for each individual piece ranges from 'Terrible, Very Poor, Poor, Standard, Good, Very Good and Superb'.

Slab Selection - White Praline / White Hazelnuts / Simply Vanilla / Cookie Creme - First of all let me say what a fantastic idea these are. Why don't Hotel Chocolat do these Mini Slabs by themselves ... small Mini Slab selections. As you can imagine these were all pretty fantastic. One of my highest rated chocolates of all time is the White Praline Fusion so this was obviously my favourite of the lot. The rest of my family had very positive things to say about the Cookie Creme which was liked for its delicious shortbread cookie pieces. Superb.

Almond Praline - This piece was formed out an inner almond praline, covered in white chocolate sprinkled with finely chopped almond pieces. Out of the entire selection I thought this one lacked a little flavour and I thought the inner almond praline was nowhere near the standard of the hazelnut praline used in most the other pieces. The chopped almond pieces however were definitely a nice touch and added a nice bit of nuttiness that the inner filling lacked. Standard.

Mellow Caramel - To be honest I could probably eat this one all day. It was formed of a superbly smooth, mellow outer white chocolate that melted nicely to reveal a dual layered filling of hazelnut praline and caramel. The combination of the burnt sugary flavours of the caramel complimented the woody, creamy flavours of the praline fantastically. Possibly a little sweet for some but I would happily eat a whole box of these. Superb.

Orange & Lemon Sandwich - Well this one divided opinion in our household. It was formed of two layers of praline, one with Valencia orange oil and the other with essential oil of lemon. Personally I didn't like the mixture of the citrus fruits with the praline ... the sweet, acidic fruit just didn't compliment the nuts. On the other hand this was one of families favourites, even described by one as a stand out chocolate from the selection. I think you will either like this or not ... horses for courses. Standard.

Caramel Canape - I think you can probably guess that this one was all round well received. It constituted of a white chocolate base, caramel milk chocolate button and finished with a square of florentine. The white chocolate was delicate and creamy, whilst the button and florentine piece brought further interest with their sweet, toffee flavours and variable textures. It was lucky there were four pieces of these canapes included as they were very well liked. Very Good.

Eton Mess - This chocolate was included in the Season of Love Selection I reviewed earlier in the year and it was every bit as good as I remember it. This Eton Mess is an wonderfully crafted chocolate formed of strawberry buttercream, a meringue piece, covered in white chocolate and sprinkled with dried strawberry pieces. I already knew how good this chocolate was but this was the first time my family had tried it and they thought it was equally as good. The variation in textures and red fruit and cream flavours make for a chocolate that is packed full of flavours and ultimately a divine taste. Superb.

Check out ChocolateMission tomorrow for Part
2 and the final scoring system for this fantastic selection.