October 7th: Hotel Chocolat Rabot 1745 Dark Pralines 82%

Kcal 266 Fat 21.0g Fat(sats) 16.0g Carbs 15.0g (per 4 truffles)

One of the most common questions we get asked here at ChocolateMission is 'what is your favourite chocolate truffle?'. We normally retort with an answer saying that it is impossible to choose but a look into the ChocolateMission archives will tell you that we have long been advocates of Hotel Chocolat's Eton Mess and Artisan du Chocolat's Salted Caramels. The reason we bring this up is because the product we are reviewing today challenges both of those chocolates and could well have even exceeded them. Ladies and gentlemen please see these amazing Hotel Chocolat Rabot 1745 Dark Pralines 82%.

These truffles were sent to us in a 45.0g pack of four that Jim quickly made moves for. The truffles were presented in an amazing looking cardboard casing that really brought a premium, vintage feel to the product with its decorative washed out labelling and sleek on-pack branding. The labelling contained information on the date of the cocoa harvest, the length of the conching process and the chocolatier that made them. We felt like this was a good level of detail to showcase the care taken to make the truffles - informative but not over the top or showing off. Out the pack the truffles radiated strong cocoa scents and maintained a sophisticated aesthetic appearance with the 'Rabot' branding placed on top of each piece.

Hotel Chocolat's 85% dark chocolate has maintained a number one placement on top of the ChocolateMission leaderboard since 2008 so the expectations of these praline truffles was expectantly high. These were consumed as after dinner chocolates and were appropriately served alongside cups of freshly roasted coffee. This ultimately proved to be a highly satisfactory pairing as the mouth warming effect of the coffee facilitated one of the finest textural melt experiences we have ever experienced from a chocolate truffle. The pieces melted like butter in the mouth, the outer exteriors firstly at a slower pace and then the inner praline centres a silky smooth finish. The flavour generation created during these amazing mouth feel sensations was equally impressive with the outer portion 82% dark chocolate offering a grandioso plethora of rich, earthy cocoa notes. Such was the depth of the chocolate taste we expected the praline aspect to be lost however a pure, powerful woody taste of hazelnut exploded in to life once the soft filling was unveiled. Given their strength these truffles were highly satisfying and felt like the perfect sweet little something to round off a pleasant meal.

Overall these Hotel Chocolat Rabot 1745 Dark Pralines were chocolate truffles of the highest order. If you like dark chocolate and hazelnut then these are near enough the perfect chocolates you can find to satisfy your chocolate needs. The presentation is flawless and the truffles contained inside certainly didn't let things down. Made with 82% cocoa organically sourced from Ecuador, Hacienda Lara the quality of the ingredients was never something to bring into disrepute but the blending of the dark chocolate and hazelnut elements was close to chocolatiering perfection. You will no doubt read your fair share of positive Hotel Chocolat reviews on this website but if you are going to take special notice of one this year we strongly suggest it be this one. Chocolate truffles don't get much better than these - their only flaw is that there are only four in a pack.

9.3 out of 10