Thursday, 11 March 2010

March 11th: Hotel Chocolat Easter Eggs & Soldiers

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

Last weekend I showed you all the contents of the Hotel Chocolat Taste Of Spring chocolate box, which you get free if you place an order in excess of £35 with Hotel Chocolat this Easter. Within that picture I am sure a lot of you noticed the chocolate that was decorated with a sunny-side up fried egg. I can reveal today that this was a piece taken from Hotel Chocolat's Easter Eggs & Soldiers. Indeed, egg and soldiers but not as we know as they came described as 'solid milk chocolate praline eggs with white chocolate soldiers'. Obviously Hotel Chocolat are no fans of Marmite - everyone knows that soldiers are best served with plenty butter and a heavy coating Marmite but before we open up that can of worms lets first consider how good these were.

This Easter Eggs & Soldiers collection contained ten chocolate pieces - five half eggs and five soldiers. Cast your minds back to the Valentines Day period and you may remember me getting rather disgruntled at a fellow British manufacturers decision to take a more humorous approach to their seasonal offering (See HERE). To be honest I think Hotel Chocolat struck a good balance here - the chocolates weren't half as goofy as the aforementioned and I thought they still maintained a decent amount of classiness despite being a more playful concept. It wasn't like I particularly stood around looking at them for that long anyway, because as soon as I had peeled away the copious layers of intricate packaging I was greeted by some dairy heavy, nut scents that certainly did their job seducting me in to getting stuck in.

Starting off with the eggs I straight away felt very at home with the 40% milk chocolate recipe that formed their main constituents. The chocolate was flavoursome from the very first minute it was in the mouth and double cream like base tones were as usual complimented by a friendly volume of sweetened cocoa flavours making for a moreish, yet rich taste. What was slightly different from normal was the additional minor hazelnut note that became apparent as the melt developed leaving a very welcome wooden hazelnut hint in the aftertaste - Yum! Although I thought the white fried egg decorations looked cool on the milk chocolate eggs I couldn't really pick the flavours out from the stronger milk chocolate, so it was up to the soldiers to bring the white chocolate to the party. As you may all well know I am no great fan of white chocolate but I can still appreciate a good one when I taste it - the soldiers were nothing short of superb. They melted with infinite ease in to a soft liquor state and the taste was majority led by dairy cream that had a delightful vanilla edge. Combined one egg and one soldier made for a good snack but I think there was scope for more soldiers to be included considering they were only half the size.

Overall if there were ever any rumours that chocolate can't be presented in a less serious manner without hampering on the quality then Hotel Chocolat did a great job dispelling that myth compltely. On the face of things these were presented in a playful way, but from what I tasted this didn't impact at all on the usual phenomenal standards that this manufacture set themselves. The 40% milk chocolate was simply delicious and the additional praline influence arguably made it better than it ever has been. Had the only white chocolate influence of been the fried egg decorations it could have been argued that it was mere token gesture, however the soldiers held up their end of the bargain completely and the creamy taste is something that I would suggest all white chocolate fans would die for. If you are looking to gift something a little different to the usual chocolates eggs this Easter I would seriously consider these as a great option.

8.7 out of 10


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