September 5th: Hotel Chocolat Nut Mania

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

With the launch of all those new products last week the Hotel Chocolat Monday series was stopped in it's tracks. Fear not though ChocolateMission fans, today we are back on form and I will be reviewing another new addition to the original slab range. As I stated a few weeks ago, Hotel Chocolat have been really quite sensible with their portfolio management, and have continued to develop their core slab range in the background to all the limited edition seasonal offerings they have been making. The latest one that myself and my family sampled this week was this Nut Mania offering. This slab came described as 'a full-on nut fiesta chocolate slab' and can be bought both in-store and online - See HERE. Cheap plug over with lets get cracking (groan!! Haha!)

Just as the Hotel Chocolat Le Grand Crunch did last week, this slab came in a huge 500.0g size - trust me folks that's a heck of a lot of chocolate :D Given the packaging, some might say that this size is too big as one thing I have noticed about these large slabs is that once the seal on the paper based sleeve is broken, the material isn't ideal for keeping the chocolate in the freshest state. Minor grievances aside, everyone agreed the slab looked tremendously impressive with the wholenut pieces evident throughout both the milk and dark chocolate portions - the nutty scents emanating from the chocolate were very tempting.

Taking the slab out of it's sleeve, it soon became apparent that the heavy nut content was going to have its advantages and disadvantages. To get the insignificant negativity out the way first, I have to make reference to just how difficult it was to break apart the slab without causing a terrible mess. Snapping off decent sized chunks proved to be a hell of a challenge - I'm still finding fragments of chocolate and nut on my carpets now! Speaking in a more positive fashion you may well have guessed this tasted like an absolute dream. I needn't tell you again how individually brilliant both the 40.0% milk and 70.0% dark chocolate were, but I will focus more on how well they combined with the nuts, which were each brilliant in every which way. Indeed, the almonds, halzenuts, pecans and pistachios were all delightfully fresh and crunchy in texture and they added terrific savoury flavour notes with elements of salt (pistachios), wood (hazelnut) and butter (almonds and pecans) consistently contrasting with the sweeter cocoa flavours offered by the chocolate. As with a lot of Hotel Chocolat chocolates, a decent sized chunk of this slab made for a fine partner with an after dinner coffee.

Overall the record needn't be changed, this was another very tasty chocolate from our people at Hotel Chocolat. Above I resisted the urge of describing how delicious both types of chocolate were - suffice to say the 40.0% was it's ever delightful creamy chocolatey self, and the 70.0% was just as impressive with it's richer, earthy cocoa flavour base. Of course the X-factor for this Nut Mania were the nuts, which were just terrific in every sense apart from their consequential messiness. Every different nut type made their own unique contributions to the taste and also maintained their superb crunchy freshness even days after opening. Lovers of nutty chocolates will feel right at home here - it always seems silly recommending it to chocolate nut lovers but I can't imagine any one of them feeling disappointed with this one.

8.1 out of 10