November 22nd: Hotel Chocolat The Mini Festive Wreath

Kcal 274 Fat 19.0g Fat(sats) 11.0g Carbs 21.0g (per 1/2 wreath)

Christmas may still seem like its an age away but Hotel Chocolat have already been sending us several products from their new 2013 line-up. Whilst @HotelChocolat have always been famous for their thick chocolate slabs when it comes to Christmas they have started to create another little niche for themselves with their solid chocolate wreaths. We've been lucky enough to review a few of these down the years but to our delight this didn't stop Hotel Chocolat sending us this mini version for us to check out.

This Hotel Chocolate The Mini Festive Wreath came in a 100.0g size that we split amongst three of us during a mid-afternoon tea break. The are a few different flavour variations you can check out on the site - HERE, but the one we got sent came billed as 'milk chocolate wreath shape with caramelised almond florentines and biscuits'. This sounded awesome and the presentation of the product was also suitably so. The wreath mould was incredibly detailed and the bits of visible biscuit and florentine a real stand out with them generously portioned throughout.

Breaking the wreath apart wasn't the easiest thing to do or most practical however once all taste testers were satisfied we had split it evenly we went about tasting it. The milk chocolate was the 50% Hotel Chocolat recipe which made it noticeably richer cocoa wise than the creamier, dairy focused Hotel Chocolat's House 40%. We've always had difficulty picking a preference between the two - we were just glad they had utilised the 50% here as it made a nice change. Whilst the high quality cocoa heavy milk chocolate was the focus of each mouthful, the enhancing almond florentines and biscuit pieces created a pleasant crunchy textural element and enhancing flavour notes of buttery nuts, treacle syrup and salty shortbread. The three way split we made between us was just about right for our liking though I'm sure a two man tasting team wouldn't have struggled with this job :-)

Overall this Hotel Chocolat The Mini Festive Wreath proved itself not only to be an aesthetic marvel but also a real sensation taste wise. The choice of the greater strength milk chocolate was favourable in our opinion and it didn't take anything away from the two differing biscuit elements which still added nicely to the whole experience. The team particularly enjoyed the almond florentine pieces which for them couldn't come frequently enough with their delicious caramelised nut flavours. Should you take the wise decision to buy this Mini Festive Wreath you may at first feel guilt breaking it apart but trust us this guilt will all soon vanish once the pleasure of the taste sets in. Quelle surprise - thumbs up all round.

8.4 out of 10