Putting an orange as gift in someone’s Christmas stocking is a longstanding tradition. During wartime and the ration years proceeding, oranges were scarce; receiving one at Christmas was a special treat and provided something sweet at a time when sugar was so expensive.
We might now think an orange a rather dull present given how cheap and widely available they are all year round, but Hotel Chocolat has decided to revive the tradition in a deliciously symbolic way. Their Caramelised Orange truffles are available in packs of six for £3.75 or £3.15 when buying three or more.
HC’s usual Selector box has been given a bit of a seasonal facelift with some snowflakes decorating the wrapper. I can’t say that makes them look anymore attractive, but it is a useful informant that immediately indicates these are going to be limited to the Christmas period. The truffles themselves look simple and elegant.
Tear through the wrapper and you’ll be hit with an instant orange aroma. The strong scent of orange oil is a little bit heady, making it smell almost too good to eat. Almost. Although a milk chocolate shell surrounds the truffle, it actually has bitter notes much more akin to dark chocolate. After bursting through the thick creamy shell, the depth of flavour continues with a very rich dark chocolate ganache, which lies on top of an intense orange caramel. Surprisingly, the caramel is not that sweet; instead you get the bitter flavour of orange peel and the zing of orange zest.
Hotel Chocolat’s Caramelised Orange Truffles are pure decadence, and a treat that is sure to get a much more enthusiastic response than a clementine when the stocking is tipped upside down on Christmas morning.