Hotel Chocolat: The Sleekster Summer Desserts Selection
As you know, I am never one to say no to chocolate, so when I was given the opportunity to review some more goodies from Hotel Chocolat, I gave a graceful (possibly) assent. Having been rather spoilt by artisan chocolate which I’ve been lucky enough to try over the past year or so, I am not as enthusiastic about Hotel Chocolat as I once would have been. But for a high street chain and a large online seller, Hotel Chocolat are probably the best. As summer is reportedly here, I chose the Sleekster Summer Desserts Selection to review. A 300g box of 8 assorted flavours, all “inspired by the classic desserts that we all simply adore”. Well the proof of the pudding is in the eating – so without further ado, here goes.
Summer Pudding – This white chocolate truffle didn’t much resemble the summer pudding I know, very fruity and rather tart. These were creamy rather than fruity and not at all tart, although the berry flavour was there. It reminded CT of that good old 70s favourite raspberry ripple ice-cream, enjoyable but a bit articficial.
Chocolate Brownie – This was a rather yummy milk chocolate praline, which is one of my all time favourite chocolates. It was a good chunky one too with a pronounced nutty flavour. It didn’t remind me of a brownie, but who cares. CT tasted hazelnut immediately and was pleased by the rich and creamy flavour.
Neapolitan – Meant to be reminiscent of another 70s classic, I thought this was rather nice. CT, however found it a bit cloying. Strangely, he thought it smelt of dark chocolate although it actually tasted of white and had a sweet strawberry flavour.
Eton Mess – For me, this is the one that most resembled its name and my favourite. Just like a dish of Eton Mess, it was creamy with a good strawberry flavour and the regulation bits of meringue were present and correct. CT identified this as strawberry meringue and enjoyed the lightness of the truffle.
Coconut Bombe – This reminded me of an upmarket bounty with its milk chocolate and pieces of coconut. It reminded CT of balti houses rather than bounties: that strong flavoured coconut ice-cream that cooled your mouth after an ill chosen searing hot curry – happy days!
Chocolate Mouse – Much sweeter than I would have expected for a dark chocolate, this was not as moussey as I would have liked. CT smelt the dark chocolate and enjoyed the cripsness of the shell, but was not enamoured of the liquid filling. Neither of us tasted anything other than chocolate – perhaps that’s the point.
Lemon & Passion Fruit Tart – This was the tartest of the chocolates and really quite delicious with its lovely lemon and passion fruit flavours coming through loud and clear. When bitten into, this chocolate looked particularly good: a white chocolate outer shell covering an inner dark chocolate shell, which in turn held a fruity ganache – I meant to take a photo of the inside, but annoyingly forgot. CT was not so impressed; he tasted grapefruit and the flavour persisted rather longer than he cared for.
Red Berry Mouse – This milk chocolate shell with a raspberry and strawberry mouse was quite fragrant. I couldn’t taste the strawberry as the raspberry was quite strong, but I like raspberries so that was fine. CT, whose palate was obviously shot by now, tasted rose mixed with raspberries. Right or wrong he enjoyed it anyway.
Actually, considering this was a blindfold tasting for CT, he didn’t do too badly. Overall, we thought this was a very nice box of chocolates to receive, but I do wish they were not so sweet.