It wouldn't be a proper holiday season without a Hotel Chocolat Sleekster selection box would it now? This Easter Hotel Chocolat are offering us this Egg box, which offers us all 'a cracking collection of irresistible filled mini eggs'. I have to admit that doing the photography for the review like this is a real pain in the backside with all the different pieces that need photos done. Although it is a little painstaking, previous evidence from the White, Dark and Valentines Sleekster collections would suggest that the effort is well worth, so I shan't grumble too much :)
This Egg Box selection included ten different flavoured eggs, each of which were portioned three times. As I have come to expect from Hotel Chocolat Sleekster collections, the quality of the packaging and presentation was first class. The outer box looked very cool indeed and didn't go over the top with it's Easter connotations, whilst the inner eggs were easily identifiable thanks to the menu road map and well crafted egg pieces.
Due to there being so many flavours I decided to space the review over two days. Below are my brief thoughts on the first five pieces based on the usual Awful-to-Superb rating scale. I shared these with my family so they have added their input where necessary. Below I will be working from left to right.
Milk Egg Praline - This egg was formed of a 40% outer coating and smooth hazelnut praline centre. This seemed like a chocolate I had tasted many times before from Hotel Chocolat, but that was very much a good thing. The outer chocolate was creamy and melted like a dream in the mouth to reveal the slightly grittier praline centre. The hazelnut came through superbly in the taste making for a delightful woody finish. Superb.
Banana Split Egg - This was hard one to rate as the 40% outer milk chocolate again melted gloriously to reveal a caramel like centre that was simply outstanding. The inner centre was amazingly buttery and provided an amazing toffee taste that I couldn't get enough. Unfortunately the banana element in all three truffles was AWOL, which was massively disappointing for my banana mad mum. For that reason I have to downgrade it. Very Good.
Advocaat Truffle Egg - Whenever Christmas comes round in my family we are always pretty partial to a few 'Snowballs', so we actually fought over who was going to try this one. The milk chocolate casing was of a great standard and the centre was suitably soft in the mouth. Despite the alcohol hit being favourably more mild than previous experiences with Hotel Chocolat truffles, I would have struggled to have placed the liqueur as Advocaat, thus it didn't quite deliver the experience I hoped for. Standard.
Dark Praline Egg - This piece was pretty much the same as the milk praline egg above, however it had the obvious difference that it had an outer shell of 70% dark chocolate. For dark chocolate lovers this was nothing short of a dream - the chocolate was rich in taste and inflated in cocoa volume, whilst the hazelnut still had great cut through in the taste providing an even longer presence in the mouth. Superb.
Berry Mousse Egg - This egg was formed of white chocolate with a strawberry and raspberry flavoured mousse centre. Both my mum and my sister demanded I give this a superb and I needed very little convincing. The white chocolate was amazingly sweet and creamy, whilst the centre was tremendously forthcoming in red fruit flavours which were delivered with a strong, natural tasting tartness that contrasted wonderfully with the sweeter chocolate. Superb.
A pretty good start for this Hotel Chocolate The Sleekster Egg Box Selection huh!? Be sure to check the site out tomorrow to see how the other flavours get on, and of course the all important scoring chart.