May 30th: Hotel Chocolat Knickerbocker Glory Neapolitan

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One would naturally assume that the summer season would the quietest for the chocolate market given there are no holidays where chocolate is naturally gifted (Christmas/Easter etc!). Summer 2011 however is proving as hectic for me as ever, with the like of Thorntons, Ritter Sport and of course Hotel Chocolat all releasing some of their biggest summer ranges ever. Over the course of the next few weeks I will be taking you through a pretty extensive run through of Hotel Chocolat's summer line up - starting today with these Hotel Chocolat Knickerbocker Glory Neapolitan truffles. FYI, you can see all that they have to offer HERE - if you have any review requests please don't hesitate to get in contact.

These Knickerbocker Glory chocolates are just one of the new truffle ranges for 2011 and today I (along with a few helpers!!) had the delight of trying the Neapolitan flavour. The 110.0g package contained ten individual truffles, which came described as 'strawberry ganache in milk and white chocolate, decorated with white chocolate'. In a few reviews recently I have remarked that the standard of some Hotel Chocolat ranges might be slipping. This was not such the case here, and I would say this Knickerbocker range demonstrates a fine return to form. Hopefully from my photos above you can see just how much effort they have put into the outer cardboard sleeve. In my opinion the design work is fantastic and I think it finely communicates the summer feel good spirit as well as the correct Neapolitan flavour theme.

Taking the truffles out of the inner transparent packet, I was met with a chocolatey set of scents that offered just a minor hint of sweet strawberry. Up until this point the truffles looked like a lot of other Hotel Chocolat individual truffles I had tasted before, however biting in to one soon revealed that they were truly beautifully crafted. Again I hope you can see by my photo above that each chocolate had three very distinct layers - a milk chocolate outer shell, a white chocolate ganache inner ring and then a strawberry flavoured ganache centre. This three layer craftsmanship made for a fantastic flavour and textural journey with the starter milk chocolate outer portion creating a familiar creamy cocoa taste with it's fresh snapping yield. Next to the party the white chocolate creme provided a softer feeling, milkier taste that led beautifully into the strawberry centres. Despite the ganache fillings disappearing rapidly with their butter like mouth feel melt, they left a glorious impression of real tasting red fruit flavours in the mouth for a long time after. Suffice to say these were loved by all that tried them.

Overall these Hotel Chocolat Knickerbocker Glory Neapolitan truffles have got the summer 2011Hotel Chocolat reviews off to a cracking start and they deserve some serious praise. You can never go far wrong with Hotel Chocolat truffles of any sort whether they be praline, caramels or liqueur, but fruit flavoured ganache ones seem to really be where their talents lie. Personally I don't think there are many brands out there that can be said to be so consistent with the quality of their fruit truffles. I don't know how they do it, but they manage to always create the fruit flavourings without making them too sweet or artificial - these strawberry truffles were as good as any in terms of how real tasting the fruit came through in the taste. If you then factor in the quality of the other milk and white chocolate layers I'm sure you can all start to imagine just how good these really were. ChocolateMission recommended!? You bet ya!!

8.7 out of 10