September 17th: Hotel Chocolat Passion Fruit Fiesta

Kcal 184 Fat 12.0g Fat(sats) 7.0g Carbs 17.0g (1/3 of a slab - 33.0g)

Hotel Chocolat haven't been backwards coming forwards with the fruit flavoured chocolates this summer. The majority of their seasonal collection this year has been made up of different fruit flavoured chocolate offerings and today I wont be showcasing you anything different. This Hotel Chocolat Passion Fruit Fiesta is the latest innovation in their famous 'slab' range and I got the chance to give it a try after it came in one of my latest sampling packages. The front of the wrapper informed me that this was a 'white and milk passion fruit flavoured chocolate slab with shortbread cookies and chocolate crispies'.

My sample of this chocolate came in a 100.0g form and was contained within one of Hotel Chocolat's standard plastic packets. You can say this of most Hotel Chocolat slabs but this one looked particularly distinctive with the biscuit pieces and yellow coloured decorative swirls giving the the chocolate an easy, interesting look on the eye. The chocolate had already got my attention with it's unique proposition and compelling aesthetics but the emanating wafts of fruity chocolate that emerged from the wrapper also added to my excitement of trying it - I had a good feeling about this one.

The slab was roughly proportioned 50/50 between the milk and white chocolate and it was the latter which I tackled first. The white portion was actually my favored of the two which was surprising given my usual preference for Hotel Chocolat's milk over their white. In this instance however I thought the lighter vanilla cream flavours better matched the fruitnyess at hand. The 40% house chocolate was still delicious with it's punchy sweet cocoa flavours but the white just seemed to allow better expression of the passion fruit. Speaking of which, passion isn't one I'm all that familiar with though I have been know to have the odd glass of juice whenever I fancied a change from my usual OJ. Suffice to say I was well positioned to determine whether it was well implemented and surprise surprise Hotel Chocolat did a cracking job. The fruity element was slightly acidic but had a sugary aftertaste meaning it was engaging yet still kind mannered. It was refreshing and enhancing - everything you want a fruit influence to be. In a more subtle way the cocoa rice and biscuits brought excitement texturally but taste wise they didn't get much of a look in with the chocolates occupying all attention.

Overall this was another very fine summer themed chocolate and Hotel Chocolat did a very good job pulling off  another fruit flavour that isn't commonlly found in the mass market. I never envisaged myself concluding this but I think this could have been made even better had they just gone with the white chocolate and passion fruit rather than trying to do a fusion with the milk chocolate involved. As I said above my preference would normally lie with the milk, but in this instance it was white that I thought was the better matched with this particular fruit and it was that half of the slab I found myself finishing off well ahead of the milk chocolate half. I can't imagine this will be an all year round flavour available so if it is one that tickles your fancy I suggest making moves to get hold of it before the summer is out. The Hotel Chocolat Passion Fruit Fiesta is yet another that gets a JCM recommendation - who ever could have seen that coming!?

8.8 out of 10