August 15th: Hotel Chocolat Le Grand Crunch Dark

It's been such a great summer of outstanding chocolates from Hotel Chocolat, it's easy to forget that all this time in the background they have also been making new additions to their standard range. Don't you go worrying yourselves ChocolateMission fanatics, luckily for you Hotel Chocolat have sent me a few samples of their latest chocolate slabs - suffice to say I'm all over it :D The first one of these new slabs I will be showing you today is one called Le Grand Crunch Dark. This slab is available both instore and online - the latter of which you can See HERE.

As time goes by Hotel Chocolat seem to be getting increasingly generous with the samples they send across to me. They must be pleased with the nice things that generally appear in my conclusions as they were so kind to send me this one in it's 500.0g form. There was plenty to go around, and many second/third/fourth opinions offered to me from my family and friends. Packaging wise this slab came in a single layered thick paper based like folder. It wasn't the most conventional material for keeping the chocolate fresh (a potential issue for the more greedy person!), however this wasn't a problem for me as aforemenioned I shared this amongst many a friend.

On the packaging this chocolate came billed as 'Dark chocolates blended with pieces of feuilletine, decorated with solid milk chocolate domes and milk chocolate drizzles'. Removing the seal at the back, it became immediatedly apparent that this was going to be one heck of a tasty chocolate. The rich cocoa scents that filled the air when the chocolate was removed were incredible. The chocolate smells were so incredibly forthcoming and indicative of the taste that confidence in it's quality were never in doubt. Breaking my first piece off and placing it on my tongue I was straight away treated to a lovely set of earthy, coffee noted dark chocolate flavours. These rich, unsweetned cocoa flavours strong, yet never ventured in to the world of bitterness due to an ever present fresh double cream taste. The cream flavours were increasing prevelent amongst the chunks I had where there were the sold milk chocolate balls. This sensational taste was complimented by an equally impressive mouthfeel, with the miniescule pancake particles surprisingly not upsetting the smooth melt of the chocolate, but more leaving a nice biscuitty aftertaste for every mouthful.

Overall this might not sound like one of Hotel Chocolat's most exciting propositions, but if you are looking for a kind flavoured dark chocolate offering from Hotel Chocolat then you needn't look any further. The sound of 70.0% dark chocolate may put some folk off trying this Le Grand Crunch Dark, but I think that to be a real shame as this is not a chocolate I felt ever bore a taste that I would deem excessively strong or threatening to an in experienced dark chocolate consumer. When I first read about the 'bolt-on' elements to this slab, I have to admit I really wasn't too impressed. The truffle balls sounded like they might be ineffectual on the taste, whilst the panacake pieces struck me as the sort of thing that could ruin the free flow melt texture. I shouldn't of feared as both were highly complimentry to the dark chocolate and total experience. The record may sound like it's broken, but I refuse to apologise as I can't deny being truthful about quality when I come across it - highly recommended.

8.9 out of 10