Here in rainy old England we are never short of a few puddles, but while we try to avoid most of them, Hotel Chocolat hope we might fall in love with theirs. An 80g bag costs £5.50, and there are a range of flavours available, including 40% Milk, 70% Dark Ginger, Creamed Caramel, Gin, Strawberries & Cream, Supermilk 65, Citrus, Butterscotch, and today’s feature, Salted Caramel.
The black label on the package makes them look sleek and sophisticated; the kind of thing you’d present at a dinner party. The puddles are nowhere near as gooey as they sound, but are just a rather pretentious name for buttons. I was disappointed with their overall appearance, as they lack a glossy shine; the matte surface makes them look a bit dull.
The aroma wafting from the package is anything but dull. The moment you open them, you’re greeted with strong scents of buttery caramel, while the salty smell reminded me of the sea. Initially these aromas did not come through in the taste; it took a while for the flavours to manifest themselves. When they did, it was in full force. These puddles came described as ‘mellow caramel’ with a ‘tingle of salt’, but both elements were far stronger than this; it would have been better if the flavour slightly subtler and released more slowly, instead of getting a big wham of it at the end.
To begin with the chocolate is smooth, but as soon as the ‘puddle’ breaks apart in your mouth, you get a grainy texture from the salt. It’s not unpleasant exactly, but not preferable either.
Overall I was disappointed with these Salted Caramel Puddles. I certainly enjoyed them, and would be happy to eat them again, but I would not personally go out to buy them. If it were any lesser brand, I might have considered these a pretty high standard chocolate, but generally I would have expected more from Hotel Chocolat.