July 12th: Hotel Chocolat Marbles

It seems to me like the days are getting hotter and hotter - Summer must finally be with us!!

Not only are we being treated to some glorious weather at the moment here in the UK, but the likes of Hotel Chocolat are us treating us to their summer ranges. Over the past few months I have brought you all several reviews of their summer offerings - including their fantastic Eton Mess and Banoffee Slabs (See HERE). After those initial reviews, several of you asked me if I could take a look Hotel Chocolat's Marbles range, and my contacts obliged by quickly sending some along. See Hotel Chocolat's site HERE

Both these Marbles varieties came in 140.0g servings bags which I would say included around 20-30 pieces within each. Whenever there are Hotel Chocolat products around, the rest of my family seem to never be far away - you can expect some of their opinions in my write ups below :D

Hotel Chocolat Blueberry & Apple Marbles

'Blueberry chocolate and apple flavoured white chocolate balls'

These looked the more visually striking out the two and looked wonderful with half light and half dark coloured layers. Their fruity sweet scents were a little less to my liking compared to the Caramel & Praline marbles, though they still provided good insight in to the taste that followed. Speaking of the taste, these marbles started off very cream rotted with a smooth milky set of flavours. As the nicely sized ball melted softly in the mouth, the red berry elements came through with increasing strength, fast establishing a fresh and fruity flavour base. My only slight disappointment with these was that the apple element didn't come to the party. When I fed these to my other family members in a blind taste test none of them managed to pick the apple flavours out. Despite this they were still very much enjoyed by all that tried them - Hotel Chocolat sure do make some fantastic white chocolate.

8.4 out of 10

Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel & Praline

'Salted caramel chocolate and milk chocolate praline balls'

The packet of these lasted a matter of minutes once opened - we loved them! Formed half of 40% house milk chocolate and half caramel chocolate it wasn't like they were ever not going to go down well was it!? Although these weren't as interesting aesthetically, the aromas of cocoa and toffee that emanated from the packet were simply divine. Upon placing the first piece in my mouth I was instantly impressed by the instant cocoa and cream flavours that came to the fore. As these flavours developed the taste took several turns with notes of caramel, hazelnut and butter all taking the opportunity to make an impression. The melt of the lighter coloured chocolate was noticeably faster than that of the darker side, the latter of which left a deliciously moreish salt lick in the mouth with each finish. These were insanely tasty, but not the richest of chocolates ever - a very dangerous combination.

8.5 out of 10

Overall these aren't the most innovative of products that Hotel Chocolat have come up with recently but they were both still very tasty. In terms of taste my preference would fall with the Salted Caramel & Praline, however I would happily concede that the Blueberry & Apple are slightly more suitable for the summer season as they are a tad more refreshing. One slight issue that I had with the Blueberry & Apple Marbles was the fact that the apple element was somewhat missing from the taste. Looking at the at the back of the packaging this seems to be somewhat explained by the lack of apple listed in the ingredients list!? I wonder if they just forgot :D Regardless, both of these are worth a look at if you fancy buying some summer themed chocolates. If you have tried them be sure to let me know what you think.