I was going to leave the Easter and Mothers Day chocolate reviews for a while longer, but the rest of my family insisted I get this review up as soon as possible so none of you miss out on an opportunity to try them. Apologies for spoiling the review in the first paragraph, but lets face it, it was blindingly obvious that these Hotel Chocolat 'A Dozen Quail Eggs' were going to be received rather warmly anyway!
Described as a 'selection of filled chocolate eggs', these were a none to dissimilar product to the Hotel Chocolat The Sleekster Egg Box Selection reviewed in 2010 - See HERE. This 2011 selection however came with a quirky and fascinating new look (very cool looking in my opinion!), aswell as some intriguing new flavours. What with the selection comprising of eleven different flavours, all of which were correctly identifiable from the inclusive menu, we better get going ...
Classic Praline - Milk Chocolate/Blue Stripes - A deliciously creamy 40.0% milk chocolate shell with a woody, hazelnut noted textured centre. I think we all know by now that Hotel Chocolat make fantastic praline. Superb.
Caramel Praline - Milk Chocolate/Black Stripes - I was surprised to see that this was one of the few 'survivors' in terms of flavours from the 2010 selection previously reviewed last year See HERE. It was still just as I remembered it. Very Good.
Chocolate Truffle - Dark Chocolate/Red Stripes - This was more of a plain dark chocolate piece with little flavour development from the centre truffle constituents. Still very tasty but understandably it was perceived as one of the less exciting pieces and was left until last. Good.
Strawberry Truffle - White Chocolate/Pink Stripes - This was the first plucked out by sister who described it as a creamy, vanilla heavy white chocolate, with a delightfully 'real' tasting strawberry fruit centre. Very Good.
Amaretto Truffle - White Chocolate/Brown Stripes - I perhaps wasn't the best person on my mini taste panel to test this one, but for what it's worth I still thought it was fantastic. Unlike other booze filled Hotel Chocolat truffles I have tried previously, I loved the balance the creamy white chocolate gave the alcohol fueled filling. Not my favourite but still very nice. Very Good.
Blueberry Truffle - White Chocolate/Purple Stripes - My mother hasn't stopped going on about how much she loved this truffle since she ate it. She is a big of blueberries, and was amazed at how real the flavours of the fruit came through the sweet, creamy white chocolate shell. She said it was one of the best chocolates she's ever tasted from Hotel Chocolat - big claim there! Superb.
Whisky Truffle - Milk Chocolate/Black Stripes - Despite his initial grumbles that this one should have had an exterior dark chocolate shell, my old man later conceded that the extra sweetness from the milk chocolate was the perfect contrast to the fierce, fiery whisky flavoured soft centre. He said it was delicious, but only for real whisky lovers given it's strength. Superb.
Chocolate Brownie - Milk Chocolate/Brown Stripes - Like the chocolate truffle was the plain dark chocolate piece in the selection, this was really just the plainer milk chocolate offering. Again there was nothing wrong taste wise whatsoever, however with so many interesting flavours available it was one of the last to be eaten. Good.
Vanilla Truffle - Milk Chocolate/White Stripes - This was the first time I had seen a Hotel Chocoalt vanilla flavoured truffle so I insisted that I get the chance to try this one, and I'm glad I did. The vanilla filling provided a tasty extension of the cream flavours of the chocolate, and rounded off the soft melting mouth feel with a cooling note of sweet bourbon. Superb.
Liquid Caramel - Dark Chocolate/Yellow - This was the egg that was portioned twice in the box - was I ever going to have a problem with that!? Haha of course not! As you can see from my review last year (See HERE) this was a truffle I rated very highly indeed. Superb.
Rum Truffle - Dark Chocolate/Orange Stripes - This was described by my sister as just a little too strong for her taste. She is a big fan of rum based drinks, but even for her said that she would have preferred the rum to have played second fiddle to chocolate rather than it being vice-verca. Standard.
Overall if you have taken the time to read through my families above thoughts on these truffle eggs, you find it easy to see why they insisted this selection be fast tracked on to the website. This Hotel Chocolat 'A Dozen Quail Eggs' was absolutely loved by all four us. Collectively we thought it looked very impressive, offered an amazing amount of variety, and of course we all loved the selected chocolates that we tried. When you think about it, those attributes are really all the table stakes you want from a box of chocolates, and Hotel Chocolat delivered on these here with a real touch of real class. As far as recommendations go, I probably needn't say that I think these come with a big ChocolateMission thumbs up. I can see them being a bit of a hot seller for Hotel Chocolat this Easter, so if I were you I would get your Hotel Chocolat orders in quick.
8.9 out of 10