August 8th: Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramels

I have to admit that I've been chomping at the bit to review these for absolutely ages. Until now Hotel Chocolat have puzzlingly not had a product offering solely dedicated to their Salted Caramels available in their online store, however the recent launch of a new range called 'Spotlight On' has recently seen one come to market. As you can imagine, this was right at the top of my request list that I sent along to Hotel Chocolat when asked about new samples. The promise of 'smooth liquid caramel with a pinch of sea salt in milk chocolate shells' sounded familiar and given my previous encounters with said combination I knew I was in for a marvellous treat.

The new 'Spotlight On' range consists of some of Hotel Chocolat's most popular individual chocolates and are line priced at £13.00 a box (See HERE). That investment there will buy you a box of 21 chocolates that collectively amass to 150.0g - enough to share but honestly you wont want to be doing any of that nonsense :D The packaging and presentation of this new 'Spotlight On' range is relatively consistent across the different offerings, and I personally think it looks very classy with it's combination of the typical white on black branding and simple communication imagery of the chocolates in question.

Although I've already referred to the idea of sharing of these being a nonsense, the Old Man and Mother were at hand to provide second and third opinions due to their photography skills being called in to action. After a period of refrigeration and painstakingly tempting time spent photographing these chocolates we all finally got to dig in and I'm glad to say Hotel Chocolat didn't fall below expectations. The outer milk chocolate was crisp in it's cream and sweet cocoa flavours and the base melted away on the tongue like a dream with it's tremendous smoothness. Sat at the heart of each piece the cool liquid caramel slowly oozed it's way out of the chocolate and soon took a hold of the taste. It's buttery, sweet toasted sugar butterscotch notes were elegantly balanced by just the finest suggestion of salt. The only words I need use to describe this are delicious, sweet caramel heaven.

Overall I don't care how predictable this all sounds, these were quite simple outstanding. The simple, yet classic combination of the milk chocolate and caramel was executed to near perfection with one and the other combining to create a tremendous synergy. The rating I've given these I think reflects the total package. Do I think they taste better than the Cadbury Caramel and Galaxy Caramel - yeah sure they do. Do they cost more than the aforementioned offerings - you betcha! A level rating with these products is what I believe to be the fairest thing to do. We would probably all love these to be able to afford Hotel Chocolat everyday, but for 90.0% of us this just isn't reality. For special occasions though I can't recommend these enough. If you love milk chocolate and caramel combinations you needn't look further for a special treat. Hotel Chocolat fully deliver here, I will leave you with the word 'Excellence'.

9.4 out of 10