December 17th: Hotel Chocolat Munchkins Snowballs / Winter Berry

Bringing the Hotel Chocolat Christmas 2009 reviews to a conclusion this year I today bring you my views on not one but two potential stocking fillers for you. If you remember back to October one of my one and only Halloween reviews was on the Hotel Chocolat Munchkins which I hailed as 'not one of the best Hotel Chocolat products ever, but a step in the right direction in terms of producing new smaller products for their portfolio'.

Well obviously the Halloween Munchkins went down quite well with the general public, and with that we have been treated to two new variants this Christmas in the form of these Snowballs and Winter Berry flavours.

Below are my thoughts on each ...

Hotel Chocolat Munchkins Snowballs
These Snowball Munchkins were described as white chocolate with crumbly cookie centres and I personally thought they looked the more festive out of the two on offer today. Contained within the plastic packet they really did look like mini snowballs, especially with the dusting off icing sugar which gave a fun snowy surface affect.

In line with expectations the standard of the white chocolate was about as good as you are going to get, with the deep full flavoured cream undertones nicely complimented by the hint of vanilla that was present in the aftertaste. In addition to providing something to the product visually the dusting of icing sugar also gave each and every piece a nice cooling sensation when initially placed on the tongue so it wasn't only there for aesthetic appeal. Out of the two this variant was where the inner cookie had a stronger say in the taste and it provided additional notes of shortbread brown sugar whenever crunched into. The 115.0g bag lasted only a matter of minutes between a small of group of us.

7.5 out of 10

Hotel Chocolat Munchkins Winter Berry

As with the Halloween Munchkins these were pretty much the Munchkins Snowballs but with an added fruity twist. Indeed coming in the same size packet and adding just a touch more intrigue with their dazzling plum colouring and red berry smell these looked perhaps not quite as festive but equally inviting as they above Snowballs.

In regards to taste the outer chocolate held many of the characteristics of the above but obviously with a heavy dash of red berry fruits. Considering I am not the greatest fan of the likes of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries etc the sound of an added fruity element to the mix wasn't really to my preference but in actual fact I found these to be pretty much nearly as good as the Snowballs. Although I would say The red berry element was added nicely into the chocolate and tasted 'real' (i.e. not artificial!) I did feel it detracted focus from the flavours of the inner biscuit and at times I was left wanting the sweetness of the vanilla aftertaste rather than the tarter offering which was brought to the party here. Again just like the Snowballs it was more of a matter of these lasting minutes rather than hours and they were gorged before we knew it.

7.5 out of 10

Overall I have indeed copped out of scoring one better than the other as although my preference would lie with the Snowballs the other two people I ate these with said that the Winter Berry were the better out of the two! So what can you take from this!? ... well lets just say there were pretty much as good as each other and it will be solely down to personal preference as to which you would prefer. Just as I said on the Munchkins review back in October these are not the greatest Hotel Chocolat product you will ever taste but if you put it in perspective these are more of a fun, sharing sort of product that I am sure would go down wonderfully well with anyone that was gifted them. I guess if you are looking to do Hotel Chocolat gifting on more of a budget these would be a fantastic product to gift - they taste good, have all the prestige of the Hotel Chocolat brand and whats more they looked pretty damn cool to! Hotel Chocolat have come up trumps this Chritmas with their range and whilst these might not be at the forefront of many wish lists they would make fantastic stocking fillers.

Luxurious Christmas Gifts from Hotel Chocolat