It's not often these days that samples aren't shared out amongst the ChocolateMission team but when this Hotel Chocolat H-Box Caramel Selection box turned up at ChocolateMission HQ there was now way I (site originator Jim!) was going to be handing these over. As you may have suspected from the leaderboard chocolate and caramel is my all time favourite combination so to receive a selection box from one of my favourite brands themed with this very proposition I was very excited.
The selection itself is made up of nine different chocolates - here are my thoughts and ratings on them each.
Liquorice Caramel - This was the only piece within the selection that partially disappointed me as the liquorice element wasn't all that apparent. I don't know whether it was the strength of the dark chocolate or the lacking of liquorice flavouring but it certainly didn't come through in the taste. Lucky the dark chocolate was exceptional :) Good.
Soft Caramel - This was a very similar chocolate to the salted version but had a slightly more viscous centre. The 50% cocoa chocolate was the perfect match with the sweet buttery flavours of the filling. Very Good.
Shortbread Cookie Caramel - This was incredibly similar to the Billionaire's and Trillionaire's Shortbread pieces which was no bad thing. The only slight adaptation from those two was that the caramel was salted. This not only provided the usual amazing balance to the caramel but also exentuated the shortbread biscuit. Superb.
Salted Praline & Caramel - This was another real stand out chocolate. The milk chocolate shell perfectly led into a buttery nut almond praline that was topped by a suggestion of sweet, gooey caramel. This was yet another I could have eaten all day - don't tempt me folks! Superb.
Salted Soft Caramel - This was an incredible chocolate with crisp outer shell and liquid caramel centre. The aftertaste was an absolute dream with the sweet innards partnered with a moreish, lasting salt lick. Superb.
Billionaire's Shortbread - This chocolate is an all time ChocolateMission favourite. Outstanding quality milk chocolate, decorated with shortbread biscuit pieces and a filling of both caramel and gorgeous hazelnut praline. This is one chocoalte you have to try at some point. Superb.
Burnt Caramel - I didn't feel the promised burnt sugar notes of the filling were truly embellished here as the dark chocolate outer portion was the main focus of the taste. The chocolate was of supreme quality but more could have been made of the burnt caramel aspect. Good.
Caramel Cheesecake - The differentiator of this chocolate to many others in the selection was that the filling had a slight tangy yogurtyness to it. The minor sour note made for a nice change though I would have liked an aspect of ginger bread biscuit to really drive home the cheesecake theme. Very Good.
Overall in line with all expectations this was an incredible selection of chocolate caramels - I would go as far saying truffles of highest order. The selection, whilst limited to non-caramel chocolate lovers is paradise if you are like me and have a deep founded love for anything along these lines. This Hotel Chocolat H-Box Caramel Selection is not without its faults (See Burnt Caramel and Liquorice pieces) but even those are still of high quality given the standard of the base chocolate. Do I advocate this selection box for chocolate caramel lovers - you bet I do! A billion, trillion times over :) This is a great offering as a gift but an even better option for treating yourself. ChocolateMission recommended.
9.0 out of 10