January 20th: Hotel Chocolat Gianduja Praline Cubes

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

Hot off the back of my glowing review of the Tesco Finest Italian Gianduiotti at the start of the year Hotel Chocolat thought it best that they send me a sample of their Gianduja Praline Cubes to see if their own product could outperform the aforementioned. These Gianduja Praline Cubes have been long requested by ChocolateMission readers and I would have reviewed them far sooner had they not mysteriously disappeared out of distribution for a limited period in 2009. On pack these chocolates come described as 'the king of pralines with a melt in the mouth texture and deep chocolate flavour' ... there is nothing like having a bit of confidence in your product now is there ;) I had been looking forward to trying these for ages so I was really hoping that they wouldn't let me down.

These Gianduja Praline Cubes came in a box weighing 300.0g which was split into 42 small bite sized pieces. As I so frequently say with Hotel Chocolat products the presentation was first class once again and everything from the on-pack design work to the inner trays and padding radiated all the usual classiness that I have come to expect from the brand. Speaking of the chocolates themselves I have to admit that at first I thought they looked a little on the small side sitting in the tray though my opinion on that soon changed upon experiencing their richness. Although perhaps sceptical at their size initially, one thing that I was more impressed with was how they smelt and I immediately felt enticed by the raw and fresh nutty smells that wafted out of the box.

Picking my first piece out of the tray the first thing I noticed was the velvety feel of the chocolates on my fingers and I have to admit that I was impressed by the way that the chocolates left no stickiness or residue left on my fingers despite the ease at which they melted in the mouth. Speaking of the melt it is actually difficult for me to fully put in to words how luxurious it felt in the mouth. Allowing myself to go well over the top here it was simply sensuous and an utter delight feeling the cool, melty feel of the chocolate transform into it's silky liquid state .... it was just wonderful. Of course just as importantly the taste was also of a very high standard and the delicious blend of woody hazelnut and rich tasting creamy cocoa flavours delivered a smooth elegance that was demanded by the sublime melt. Contrary to my initial thoughts each block was sized to perfection. One cube was the perfect treat to compliment an after dinner coffee, whilst two cubes was enough to feel like a sinful indulgence that was so totally worth it.

Overall I feel like I have said everything in my above paragraph - if I haven't managed to put this over as a product I absolutely loved I should probably just give on this whole reviewing thing now. Pretty much everything about this product was spot on and I can only think of one minor thing that they could change to make it a real contender for the top place on ChocolateMission. Before I reveal that speaking of the actual product at hand I have nothing but positive things to say about it - the presentation was first class, the taste rich and flavoursome and lastly the melt was simply out of this world ... this is how Gianduja should be done! Where they could they improve it!? Well for me I would to try an even stronger, more intensive cocoa solids Gianduja. I am not to sure a 'darker' Gianduja would work as it may detract from the hazelnut flavours ... but hey I think it would be worth a go given the prestige at which Hotel Chocolat handle their darker chocolate recipes. For the time being I simply insist that all you praline and hazelnut chocolate fans doing yourselves a favour and indulge yourselves in a box of these Hotel Chocolat Gianduja Praline Cubes. This is a product well worthy of being recognised as being one of the best ever tasted on ChocolateMission and is well worthy of it's tremendous score.

9.4 out of 10

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