Monday, 31 May 2010

May 31st: Hotel Chocolat Banoffee

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

Not only is it the last day of the month, but it is also the last of my reviews from Hotel Chocolat's Summer Peepster Selection. Having covered off the Tutti Fruitti last year (See HERE), and Cookie Creme and Eton Mess slabs over the last few weeks, the last remaining slab left to try was this Banoffee one. Having heard good things from other review sites and my readers (namely Lottie and Richard) I was really looking forward to seeing how this 'milk and caramel chocolate, with crushed cookies and banana slices' would fair on the rating system. What with my mother being a bit of a chocolate banana connoisseur there was no way I was going to be able to sneak a review up on the site without her noticing - watch out for here candid opinions.

Quelle surprise this slab also came in 100.0g form and it lasted around a day in our household with us all snapping bits off to eat every now and then. In fitting with the rest of the varieties from this summer selection box, the slab looked very appetising and the dried banana pieces were a nice decorative touch to the already grand looking two tone chocolate swirl pattern. Something that is probably worth mentioning about these 100.0g slabs is the difficulty that I had breaking them apart. As I have written about previously, its not often that I can fault Hotel Chocolat slabs aesthetically, but they can sometimes prove a little hard to break up into smaller bits. This minor observation was immediately put to to one side up as I broke the plastic packet seal. Upon doing so a plethora of sweet smelling fruit and toffee scents invaded my senses - this had all the hallmarks of a great chocolate.

Reading the spiel on the wrapper it was comforting to know that a good proportion of this slab constituted of Hotel Chocolat's 40% milk chocolate recipe, and it proved to be just as good as ever but with an additional banana twist. Indeed, the chocolate maintained all of it's standard cream based cocoa flavours, but had a lovely note of very real tasting banana which came through strongly in latter stages of the thick melt. Although my mother was especially loving the banana chocolate, I personally thought that the bites where both the caramel chocolate and the banana flavoured milk chocolate were swirled together were the best. In these mouthfuls the buttery, salted toffee influences of the caramel further enhanced the depth of the flavours making the resulting taste even more varied and enjoyable. The cookie pieces that lined the bottom of the slab failed to create much of an impact on the taste, however the same can't be said of the banana chips which further went to reinforce the banana flavours. Although in the context of the taste the cookie bits didn't add much, they did at least bring a a decent crunchyness texture wise, which contrasted nicely from the soft melting chocolate.

Overall this was another very well executed flavour combination from Hotel Chocolat and it certainly met all my expectations. It would have been easy to have forgotten about the caramel element to Banoffee Pie and just focused on the banana flavours, but it was great to see Hotel Chocolat recognise the importance of both and combine them to such great effect. Being the big banana chocolate fan that is she is, I knew that this chocolate was going to be good when my Mother did the honours eating the first bit and then exclaiming it was 'the best ever'. Personally I don't think this is the best chocolate I have ever tasted, but believe me when I say that is very good indeed. If you have little interest in bananas then I don't think this will be your sort of chocolate, but on the other hand if you have just the smallest urge to try this chocolate I very much recommend you do so. This is definitely one for you banana lovers and has proved to be a fitting end to my reviews from this delicious Summer Peepster Selection.

8.7 out of 10

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