Monday, 11 April 2011

April 11th: Hotel Chocolat Extra Thick Purist Egg

With Easter just a few weeks away the egg reviews will be piling in thick and fast. The word thick is infact very apt for the focus of Hotel Chocolat Monday this week, as I am reviewing their Extra Thick Purist Egg. This egg came described as 'An egg made with two of our most precious chocolates - featuring rare cocoa from our own Rabot Estate Plantation on Saint Lucia and Chuao beans from Venezuela'. A more fact based description would have told you that the package included an egg comprising of one half 70% Chuao Dark Venezuela, and one half 65% Rabot Estate Dark Saint Lucia. Also included where 'ten super premium Purist pralines'. I will only speak briefly about the quality of the presentation because I'm hoping that the 'Old Man's' photography skills have down the package justice. In my opinion the whole thing was absolutely superbly presented. Everything from the from outer box, to the way the egg was presented inside was superb, with both the egg halves coated in thick foil layers. Inside the egg, the truffles came wrapped in several layer of tightly wrapped tissue paper - the cocoa scents emanating from all these different constituents added to the excitement.

After enquiring my snazzily presented in-box menu, I decided to first dabble with a few of the 65% dark, intense pralines. More often than not, Hotel Chocolat pralines come coated in milk chocolate, so it was a nice change to taste some with a greater dark chocolate emphasis. Its fair to say that the pralines set the standard extremely high from the outset, with the combination of the rich outer chocolate dark chocolate and smooth, woody hazelnut fillings making for some deliciously smooth, satisfying pralines.

The next part of the package I took to task was the 65% Dark, Rabot Estate Saint Lucia half of the egg. This chocolate was ever so slightly lighter in colour than the other, though it still held flavours that were equally as bold. Placing the first piece of my tongue the cocoa flavours instantly came to the party, creating an instant unsweetened chocolatey impression as the soft melt began. As the melt developed the cocoa flavours became increasingly stronger, with elements of coffee, red wine and slight touches of red berry fruits encompassing the latter stages of the melt development. The taste was long, and left an impression in the mouth for a long time after consumption. Although only 5% stronger in cocoa strength, the differentiation in the origin of the beans will have largely have accounted for the perceived differences I had tasting the other 70% Dark, Chuoa Venezuela half.

Just like the other half, this chocolate also broke apart with a lovely sounding sharp snap and stamped it's authority on proceedings with it's flavours as soon as it came in to contact with my tongue. The chocolate melted with the most luxurious of soft mouth feels, creating a smooth taste that had all sorts of different flavour contributions accompanying the grandest of rich cocoa base tones. Indeed, throughout the melt there were hints of smokey ash, sweet dried fruits and even small pockets of toffee that kept the taste on the correct side of that fine unsweetened/bitter balance. Despite being billed as the stronger concentrated of the two, I found this chocolate was actually the sweeter. This particular half was the first thing to be gobbled when I left out for the rest of the family to try.

Overall this was a really quite phenomenal package that included two of the finest tasting chocolates I have had the pleasure of trying for a long time. As I alluded to above, I hope you guys can all appreciate just how immaculately the package has been put together. Everything was just near enough perfect, with the chocolate shells and inner pralines flawless in appearance and detailed perfectly by the details provided on both box and inner menu. Its needless to say that this is an egg you are only going to enjoy if you like your dark chocolate. If this is the case you are in for one hell of a treat, as both the 65%, 70% and super premium pralines provide one glorious and varied dark chocolate tasting adventure. If I had to pick favourite out of all three of the inner constituents I would choose the 70% Venezuela if my arm was severely twisted :D Truth be told, anyone that appreciates the darker side of chocolate will just enjoy every microscopic piece on offer. Do I recommend this Hotel Chocolat Extra Thick Purist Egg? Do I ever!

9.2 out of 10


Delivered Chocolate Gifts from Hotel Chocolat
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