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It feels like it has been way too long since my last Hotel Chocolat review, but fear not ChocolateMission readers I had a fresh batch of samples land on my doorstep this week. Amongst my latest batch of goodies I have been sent an assortment of new and old, including some more of their latest summer releases, as well as some of their more classical offerings. Starting off the latest round of Hotel Chocolat reviews, today I will be reviewing a slab that falls somewhere in the middle of this 'new' and 'old' categorisation. This Vanilla slab has been around for a while, but in the context of the market it is in line with the summer flavour trends with the likes of Ritter Sport and Lindt recently releasing Stracciatella chocolates.
This Vanilla slab was included in a Peepster Selection Box and came in a 100.0g package that was split into two separate bars. On the cellophane wrapper the product came described as simply 'solid white chocolate with vanilla' and listed only seven ingredients. Aesthetically I don't think you could put this slab up there with the more interesting of Hotel Chocolat offerings, but the presentation was of a good standard nonetheless and the chocolate cut an imposing figure with the black dots of vanilla seeds dispersed consistently throughout each slab. Upon breaking the plastic packet open I was greeted with some strong dairy based vanilla scents which resultingly set the tone nicely for the taste.
Some of you may remember (if you do you are very sad haha!) that I have tried this Vanilla offering before from Hotel Chocolat, in a mini sized slab form from their White & Light Selection (See HERE). Given my aforementioned love for all things vanilla I'm not quite why I allowed this this large slab version to allude me for so long - having tasted it now I can only say that this was an even grander error on my part than I first thought. From the very first moments this chocolate entered my mouth the experience was sublime. Breaking the thin slabs into pieces the chocolate broke with a crisp snapping sound - always a great sign! Placing the first piece of my mouth the chocolate created a delightful cooling sensation and began it's slow, soft transitional melt. One fear I did have for this chocolate was that the vanilla seeds would roughen the soft melt of the chocolate like I have experienced with other vanilla chocolates in the past. Fortunately this was no cause for concern here - it melted like a dream and increased in flavour volume as it did so. The taste itself started off very cream based and became increasingly strong in it's glorious vanilla flavours as the melt progressed. This synergy of creamy milk and natural vanilla was nothing other than totally delicious, I just couldn't stop myself breaking bits of and devouring them. It's not often that I feel like consuming a portion size as plentiful as 50.0g of white chocolate in a single sitting, but I just couldn't help myself with this vanilla slab.
Overall this may not strike anyone as the most visually inspiring Hotel Chocolat slab, but in terms of white chocolate quality this is about as good as they come. I'm a self confessed vanilla flavour lover - everything vanilla flavoured, be it ice cream, milkshakes etc - quite simply if it is vanilla flavoured I generally like it. With that fact in mind, I hope that gives you some sort of perspective as to what sort of quality this chocolate would have to be to really impress me - and that it very much did. In terms of looks, ingredients and descriptor this isn't one of Hotel Chocolat's 'bells and whistles' offerings - apart from the pure chocolate slabs this is probably one of their plainest offerings. Pardon me for beating the same drum again, but this needs saying one last time - 'less is sometimes more'. This slab was the perfect example of that very theory, as it was perfect in it's simplicity. The combination and flow from the luxury cream flavours to the delightful tasting vanilla was sensational - it was one of the chocolates that begged you just to eat a little bit more. White chocolate fans do yourself a favour and make sure you treat yourselves to one of these slabs, it comes highly recommended.
9.0 out of 10