Hotel Chocolat are offering a lot of choices in this year’s Valentine’s range, but if you are indecisive like me, too much choice is not necessarily a good thing. That is where the Valentine’s Sleekster Selection comes in. Containing twenty-seven filled chocolates, it is the one to go for if you can’t make up our mind, or just want to try a bit of everything. It also makes a great gift because it can be shared instead of fought over.
The Valentine’s Sleekster looks sophisticated in its sleek white box, which correctly avoids too many garish colours. The milk, white, and dark heart shaped truffles come in nine flavour varieties.
First comes the Apple of my Eye, a term one is more likely to give to their child than their sweetheart. Its white chocolate shell is dotted with lots of black vanilla seed specks which, when combined with a surprisingly tangy apple, is reminiscent of apple custard dessert; the sweetness and tartness work well together. 9/10
The Zesty Blood Orange has a satisfying snap when you break into its shell. Although not alcoholic, it actually gives off a few mild notes of a vodka liqueur in its soft creamy orange filling. 9/10
The Gin Truffle gives off gentle floral tones of juniper. It has a buttery smooth filling which leaves a soothing aftertaste. 8/10.
The hazelnut filling inside the Praline Heart starts off a bit grainy but does becomes smoother as it melts. Overall I found the praline too sweet and I think it would have tasted nicer had either the shell or the praline been made from dark chocolate. 7/10
A Berry Delightful experience will be enjoyed in this fruity mixture of strawberries and blueberries. The refreshing ganache reminds me of a summer smoothie, while its earthy dark shell dampens down the sharpness. 8.5/10
Yet it cannot be outdone by a classic; to beat Salted Caramel is a big ask. Its creamy milk shell contains a mouthful of thick buttery caramel with a hint of lip puckering salt. 9/10
The Amaretto Almond Kiss is only for those who like their liqueurs strong; one bite goes straight to the head. Our Hotel Chocolat mixologists have given us a cocktail of amaretto and Frangelico Hazelnut liqueur, which I found too powerful and a bit sickly. It was, however, balanced out slightly by its fruity dark chocolate shell. 7/10
Using their high cocoa butter recipe for the Passion Fruit Truffle gave this zingy ganache an excellent partner. The white chocolate shell was not too sweet, but had strong vanilla notes to compliment the sharp filling. 8.5/10
Last but not least is the Caramel Gianduja with its super silky smooth dark hazelnut praline. It is quite sweet in its mellow caramel milk shell, but not too sweet like the Praline Heart. The thick rich ganache makes for a very satisfying morsel. 8/10
Hotel Chocolat describes the Valentine’s Sleekster as ‘an alluring trail lined with our creamiest recipes’, and I have to concur. With nine different truffles across three rows, this beautiful looking selection tempts you to try each and every one. The fillings are rich and fulfilling, and although they may not all suit everyone’s taste, everyone will find a chocolate that does.