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My reviews of the slabs from the Hotel Chocolat Summer Peepster Selection box continue today with me taking a look at the Cookie Creme offering. If you haven't yet checked out my reviews of the Tutti Fruitti from last year (See HERE) or the Eton Mess from last week (See HERE) they are well worth looking at, as both scored pretty highly on the ChocolateMission rating system. Whilst both of the aforementioned slabs were chocolates that had a fruity twist, this Cookie Creme slab today was of a more a original variety, and came billed as 'milk chocolate stirred with little cocoa cookies and pieces of shortbread'. I guess in the context of the other flavours in the selection, this didn't sound the most exciting, however as past experiences have proven sometimes it is the simpler things that are the best.
This slab was another that came in a 100.0g size, and I ate it over the course of a few sittings. I have always been a big advocate of the Hotel Chocolat slab format but I have to admit I was somewhat annoyed by the way that this slab was impossible to break apart without causing a right old mess. In terms of aesthetics there was no doubting the slab looked good with the two different colour biscuit bits decorating the top nicely. When attempting to snap bits off, these cookie pieces unfortunately couldn't help themselves from flying all over the place - this made was not only a little irritating because of the mess, but also because it limited their subsequent involvement in the taste.
One thing that continues to amaze me about Hotel Chocolat chocolate is how it always smells so fresh, and how it continues to do so even when left out to air for days (not that this happens all that often). The smells offered by this chocolate were very tempting in terms of the strength of the chocolatey scents, and there were even a few biscuit hints evident when really searched for. Once I had stopped enjoying smelling the chocolate, and finished picking up the several cookie bits lining my Kitchen floor (Doh!!) I finally got around to tasting it. People who have been reading this site for any extended time will probably be able to repeat what I am about to write word for word about Hotel Chocolat's 40% milk chocolate, as I have said it so often in the past. You will be unsurprised to hear that the chocolate was nothing less than delicious with it's nicely balanced cocoa taste wonderfully supported by strong undertones of sweet, double cream flavours. As ever it not only tasted superb, but it also felt wonderful in the mouth in terms of melt, and had a transcended from a solid to liquid state with an elegant, smooth softness. Whilst the viscosity of the chocolate was undoubtedly pleasant, it does have to be said that it meant the cookie pieces struggled to create an impression in terms of flavours due to the thickness of the melting chocolate. As a result I couldn't pull apart the flavours of both of the different cookie types, though at times there were subtle buttery shortbread suggestions. Despite the cookie pieces not offering a great deal to the taste, the quality and richness of the chocolate still made a 50.0g serving seem like a terrifically satisfying serving.
Overall I wouldn't say this was either one of Hotel Chocolat's most inspired or well executed chocolates, however the fantastic quality of the milk chocolate can't be denied. As I mentioned previously in the review, the cookie element on this slab wasn't implemented probably as well as it should have been. Although there were also shortbread cookies bits in the base of the chocolate, a lot of the bits placed on top of the slab broke away when it was being snapped. This is probably me being ultra fussy, but this was somewhat annoying, and I am certain that it hampered the resulting impression that the cookie pieces had on the overall taste. Putting my minor grumbles to one side, the 40% milk chocolate was again delightful. You would have thought I would be getting a little tired of it now having written so many reviews where it is used, but it is still one of my favourite milk chocolates and I have no problems reiterating just how good it is. If you are one of those people that hasn't indulged themselves in Hotel Chocolat yet this would be a safe chocolate of theirs to start with. I would also say this one is a pretty safe gifting option - after all who doesn't like milk chocolate and biscuits!?
8.2 out of 10