Friday, 28 May 2010

May 28th: Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Macadamias

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

Hiding amongst all the seasonal summer chocolates sent to me in my last sampling package, Hotel Chocolat were also kind enough to include a pack of these Chocolate Macadamias. If you have read any of my reviews of macadamia chocolates before, you will have seen that I more often than not end my write ups by pondering the question 'why don't manufactures use macadamias more often?'. I wouldn't in any way want to infer that I had anything to do with the creation of this product, but Hotel Chocolat seem to have answered my call with these 'whole roasted macadamia nuts panned in milk chocolate'. For those unaware the 'panned' bit refers to a process where the nuts are rolled around in large heated copper pans to apply the chocolate coating.

These nuts came in a 125.0g packet that I ate intermittently over the course of a week. As you will see from the photograph above the outer packaging was straight out the book of the rest of Hotel Chocolat 'little bits' range - think the Gemstones and Puddles products etc. Like I have said in the past, the combination of the sticker and the transparent packaging isn't the classiest thing ever, however the chocolates tend to do the talking for themselves. Indeed, both the size of the nuts and the gorgeous nutty smells that were offered were more than impressive enough to detract attention - I hope my photo above has done enough to give you some sort of idea how giant the nuts were.

Before I started this rather extensive mission to find the best chocolate bar in the world I wasn't the biggest fans of nuts, but as time has passed I have really grown to appreciate the better quality offerings that some brands have to offer. Despite what some sceptics may think - nuts aren't just nuts, they can really vary in quality depending largely on their age and freshness. If Hotel Chocolat were aiming to deliver fresh, flavoursome macadamias like I think they most probably were, then they were really on the money here. Like I foretold above the nuts were huge in size, so they needed biting in to as they weren't edible in a single mouthful. Upon doing so the outer chocolate shell broke with a lovely fresh cracking, and the combination of the outer cocoa powder and creamy tasting 40% milk chocolate did a fine job of quickly establishing a rich, sweet cocoa flavour hit. The nuts that sat below similarly yielded with a clean breaking snap sound, which along with the flavoursome salted butter flavours were a strong indicator that these nuts were as fresh as they come. Personally I found they were most enjoyable eating a few at a time alongside a coffee, and were perfect as just a little chocolate treat.

Overall I don't think it was ever really in any doubt, but having tasted these I can 100% assure you that macadamia and chocolate combinations don't get much better than this. As soon as I read that these nuts were coated in the Hotel Chocolat's 40% milk chocolate I knew there was never going to any doubt whether the chocolate was high quality - I think the hundred or so other Hotel Chocolat milk chocolates reviews were assurance enough. Indeed, the real determinant of this product was always going to be the nuts and as you can tell from my previous paragraph they were very classy. Just as I wished they were packed full of delicious savoury butter flavours and they cracked in the mouth with infinite ease. If you are nuts about macadamias (groan!!!), then I can't suggest these enough to you. These are chocolate macadamias at their finest.

8.8 out of 10

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