Our early days (2008) were also the first real years of Hotel Chocolat and back in those days they were simply a brand offering a luxurious line of chocolate bars in their own differentiated 'slab' format. Fast forward five years and they now offer consumers all sorts - wines, truffles, selection boxes .... even biscuits and chocolate spread :-)
Funny we should mention those last two huh!? The latest Hotel Chocolat biscuits and chocolate spread offerings were indeed part of our latest sampling package - The Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Grower Biscuits and the Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel & Pecan Chocolate Spread.
Both of these Cocoa Grower Biscuits and Caramel & Pecan Chocolate Spread are part of the new Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Cuisine range. This is a new set of products that go beyond the more traditional chocolate offerings and utilise ingredients from their many cocoa farms for everyday cooking purposes. Before we start sounding like Hotel Chocolat's online salesforce :-) let us give you our thoughts on both of these we tried today.
Our initial thoughts were to review these as separate products but one of the ChocolateMission team had the genius idea of combining the two. Our taste test saw us eat these as luxurious after dinner treat - we did nothing more complicated than let the spread reach room temperature so it was nice and gooey, and then proceeded to spread it generously on the biscuits.
This was as you can imagine quite the experience. The biscuits were shortbread based and were lined generously with cocoa nibs, cinnamon and nutmeg spices. The majority of us really enjoyed them though it must be said some in the team weren't keen on some of the spices as they thought they distracted from the melt-in-the-mouth butteryness of the biscuit.
On reflection a further criticism might have been that the biscuits weren't chocolatey enough but given the nature of our taste test the chocolate spread more than made up for this. The Salted Caramel & Pecan chocolate spread got a thumbs up all round from the team - soft as silk in texture and offering the most delightful set of buttery savoury nut, sweet burnt toffee and rich cocoa flavours. The aftertaste salt lick compounded the epic moreishness of it and gave it a highly dangerous 'just a little bit more' factor to it.
Overall these were two very fine products and have shown that Hotel Chocolat aren't going to settle for anything less quality-wise from their new Cocoa Cusine range as they would their normal chocolate lines. The biscuits weren't loved all round the team but they were still highly regarded and proved to be perfect for pairing with the spread. The Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel & Pecan Chocolate Spread is one of those things that we wouldn't promote going on someones everyday menu, but more as a little luxury and every so often treat. Thumbs up Hotel Chocolat - keep the goodies coming.
Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Grower Biscuits - 8.5 out of 10