August 20th: Hotel Chocolat Jam Jar Chocolates
A fair few chocolate companies go a little a quiet in the summer months but this is not something that cannot be attributed to Hotel Chocolat. With summer themed beauties like their Hotel Chocolat Taste of Summer Collection they have continued to produce some fantastic new offerings and I got the chance today to to try out a further three.
These all new Hotel Chocolat Jam Jar Chocolates came in 100.0g containers that had 22 chocolate truffles in each. I thought the presentation style of all of these was rather quirky and not something I had seen done before - kudos for the innovation there HC! All three of these truffle variants looked well presented and the flavours were made very obvious with the colourings placed on top of each piece. Below are my thoughts on the three flavours and the all important JCM ratings.
If I'm starting off with the 'worst' of the three flavours and you see I'm still giving a score in the 8's then you will know you have some quality products here. These 'Raspberry Jam' truffles came billed as 'raspberry and white chocolate truffles incased in a milk chocolate shell'. The 40.0% house milk chocolate fast established a sweet, cream heavy cocoa taste and this was supplemented superbly by the soft centre filling that bore a seriosuly good tangy raspberry flavour burst. They were verging a little on the sweet side for me but the friend I tried them with described them as 'incredibly moreish'.
8.4 out of 10
As these were the white chocolate offering in the selection I was probably least excited about trying these though they did ultimately prove to be my second favourites. These 'Lemon Curd' truffles came with the simple descriptor of 'lemon curd and creamy white chocolate truffles'. A few of my work colleagues turned their nose up at these at first but once they tried them they finished them off within an hour. The combination of the cream and milk flavour laden outer chocolate was just awesome and the way the citrus sharp lemon filling contrasted with it was just delicious. These well exceeded expectations.
8.6 out of 10
The Lemon Curd chocolates were fantastic - these Orange Marmalade ones were incredible! The 'orange marmalade filled dark chocolate truffles' instantly took my fancy and the orangey smells emanating from the Jam Jar when unsealed didn't little to persuade me otherwise.The dark chocolate here was extremely good (surprise, surprise) and it's unsweetened, rich cocoa flavours set up a delicious, sophisticated chocolate flavour base. Contrasting with this completely the centre of each piece contained a sugary, zingy orange jam that was so wonderfully real tasting in terms of its fruitiness. Unlike most dark chocolates these were served chilled from the fridge - this gave the centre fillings a very refreshing coolness in the mouth. I honestly couldn't get enough of these.
8.8 out of 10
Overall I must yet again hand the plaudits to Hotel Chocolat for creating a new range of chocolates that they have done so innovatively and effectively. As I said above the 'Jam Jar' presentation style is not something I have seen done previously and the matching of the chocolates to the flavours was superbly done. If you have to pick only one of the three flavours I would go for the Orange Marmalade but trust me I think you would be happy given any of the three.