July 11th: Hotel Chocolat The H-Box Summer Desserts

Before you start reading the rest of this review go grab yourself a coffee or a fresh cup of tea and prepare yourself for another post featuring a whole bunch of superlatives describing some Hotel Chocolat truffles :D

Hotel Chocolat Mondays continue this week with me taking a look at the latest 'H-Box' creation from the guys at HC. This time around I was treated to a 'Summer Desserts' themed box, a none to dissimilar proposition from last years 'Just Desserts' offering. This years selection contained eight pieces which I will go in to more detail below. As one would expect there were some chocolates carried over from last year, whilst also some new ones created for 2011.

As always the selection came beautifully presented with a menu containing a detailed descriptor for each piece. All round, myself and my ever willing taste assistants agreed the selection was well varied, though my father though it could have perhaps done with another dark chocolate offering as there was only the single truffle.

As I alluded to above there were a few pieces in the selection that I had already come across in previous reviews. Pictured in the group shot above, the Chocolate Brownie (Very Good - See HERE), Mousse au Chocolat (Superb - See HERE), Eton Mess (Superb - See HERE) were all consistent from previous encounters. If you haven't had a Hotel Chocolat Eton Mess before you really haven't sampled one of their finest truffles!

You see the white chocolate on the far left!? This was a Lemon & Passion Fruit Tart chocolate which I mistakenly assumed I had reviewed previously (it looked uncannily like the Mango & Peach Cheesecake - See HERE). Unfortunately in between the time it took for me to realise my mistake and including it in this group shot, someone *ahem* my mother *ahem* managed to eat the only portioned in the box haha :D :D Well she said it was excellent, Superb-worthy in fact. She described the combination of the white chocolate and real tasting lemon and passion fruit flavours as a match made in heaven. She is a real fan of Hotel Chocolat's fruit flavoured chocolates, and this she said was one of the best ever. Superb.

Red Berry Mousse - This a reshaped version of the Red Berry Mousse from the Christmas Sleekster Selection (See HERE). Once again I thought the strawberry and raspberry filling was extremely well executed. Good.

Coconut Bombe - One of the new ones for 2011, this Coconut Bombe proved itself to be a fantastic addition to the mix. The outer crisp shell of milk chocolate and dessicated coconut sprinkles complimented the extra smooth truffle filling quite amazingly. The centre was billed as white chocolate on the menu, though as you can see from the photo it was in actual fact a milk chocolate ganache. Was this an annoyance!? No not really - the coconut flavours were just as prominent and expertly delivered within the rich, creamy cocoa tones. Very Good.

Neapolitan - Another new for one for 2011 - if you haven't seen my full review of this terrific truffle I suggest you head HERE. Just look at the layering of the truffle, as you can imagine the Neapolitan effect is captured exceptionally. These chocolates are so worthy of yet another Superb.

Summer Pudding - Yet another carried over from 2010. Just as it was last year the truffle was bursting with strawberry, raspberry and blueberry influences within it's creamy smooth centre. As you can see from the cross-section it was yet another intricately made truffle that looked mightily impressive when halved. With two of these pieces in the box this year I even managed to nick one myself before my mother nabbed them :D Very Good.

Overall I gave away my thoughts of this box in the opening paragraph so I needn't bore you all much longer with a long winded conclusion this time around :D What can I say that hasn't already been said when it comes to Hotel Chocolat's competencies when it comes to these sort of chocolates?? In my opinion (which is shared by the rest of my family!) these guys really do set the standards when it comes to many types of truffles. Their one real speciality though has to be their fruit based ones - the evidence being the now legendary Eton Mess and Summer Pudding offerings. This years Neapolitan and Lemon & Passion Fruit Tart have only furthered provided further evidence of their expertise. I needn't say whether I recommend this Summer Desserts box as you only have to look at the scores for each piece. Another wonderful Hotel Chocolat offering.

8.8 out of 10