Christmas come early

November 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm 18 comments

“A new British survey has revealed that 9 out of 10 people like Chocolate.
The tenth lies.” – Robert Paul

Compared to my dear husband I’m good at resisting the temptation of sweet treats but when someone offers you a WHOLE box of chocolates to try it’s a no brainer isn’t it?  For the love of George (cough cough) and scoring ‘best wife’ points I didn’t need to be asked twice by the lovely folk at Hotel Chocolat.  I conducted a little survey of my own while I waited for our goodies to arrive – 9 out of 10 people obtain chocolate for their own consumption.  The tenth lies.  Hmmm, my sugar-free halo has well and truly slipped!

Sampling a box of chocolates as divine as these is serious business and even George admitted tackling The Sleekster on our own was a little risky!   Our friends Fran and Jenny nobly stepped in and earned their place at the top of our ‘people who can be relied upon in times of need‘ list.

The contents of our Christmas inspired box of chocolates was described as ‘beautifully wide-ranging recipes that really capture the season, finished with festive colour and sparkle – with melt-away pralines, liquid caramels and creamy ganaches, cinnamon, almonds and clementine, warming mulled wine, whisky and rum, cranberries, gingerbread and more’.

We nibbled and shared each and every one and at the risk of sounding boring they were all delicious (not a coffee cream in sight!).  What we particularly liked was the satisfying snap of the chocolate as we bit into them and the fine balance of individual flavours especially when more than one winter spice had been used.  I’m sure I’ll make you sick with envy if I give you a blow by blow account of each scrummy chocolate so here’s our unanimous top 5 so you know which ones to snaffle if a box comes your way.

cranberry and apple – a frisky cranberry compote whose tart flavours are balanced by a creamy apple ganache.  Winner of the top spot for all 4 of us – ‘wow‘ was all we could say (after several mmmm’s)

champagne star – milk chocolate and cream ganache with a good dash of marc de champagne, encased in a creamy white star sprinkled with edible gold.  ‘I don’t like white chocolate’ said Jen ‘but I love that!’

mulled wine – traditional winter spice flavours of cinnamon, clove and bitter orange in a light ganache, fortified with a generous splash of warming ruby red port.  Mmmmm.  Again.

florentine dream – a praline filled cup with honey and almond florentine.  Yummy, squidgy, nutty topping – ‘like an upmarket crunchy’

dark liquid caramel – slightly salted oozingly soft caramel, paired with a domed shell of dark chocolate.  Buttery and smooth – ‘like melted down Werthers’.

Hotel Chocolat have all sorts of delicious Christmas gifts to choose from including luxury crackers and stocking fillers. I can vouch for the Festive Wreath if you prefer something more solid to get your teeth into. Delicious 40% milk chocolate mixed together with hand cut caramel florentines, chunks of white chocolate and nibbly cocoa biscuits (yes through it not just sprinkled on top!).

As if the chocolate wasn’t tempting enough there are number of great offers available online to tempt you to start your Christmas shopping: 10% off orders over £30 (enter VCSNOW when you reach the checkout, valid until 23/12/10); a free gift box with orders over £60; a £10 voucher when you spend £100 or more.

If you like to know who you’re buying from the story of Hotel Chocolat is well worth a look and a listen.  A British company trading ethically to produce authentic chocolate from their own cocoa beans.  Everyone’s a winner!

other Hotel Chocolat reviews
Valentines selection box
Easter Nibblatrons
Cocoa Nibs Balsamic Vinegar
White chocolate Peepsters box

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Entry filed under: home life, reviews.

remembering Grandads haw berries, crab apples and rosehips

18 Comments Add your own

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Fullerton, Mark Fullerton. Mark Fullerton said: Christmas come early « Nip it in the bud http://bit.ly/9PMeTl […]

    Reply
  • 2. Mark Willis  |  November 14, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Who says Coffee Creams are no good? They’re my favourite! This selection sounds particularly good — sometimes the “Christmas” theme on goods is a thinly disguised re-packaging of an existing product, but this one sounds genuinely new. I might be tempted to indulge myself…

    Reply
  • 3. Ann  |  November 14, 2010 at 8:02 am

    There’s nothing wrong with a nice coffee cream, especially when covered with dark chocolate!

    Reply
  • 4. anitanee  |  November 14, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Great post – I’m not a massive chocolate fan either (well, compared with most people … and particularly not compared with K!) but I’m definitely going to put these on my Christmas list (or perhaps treat ‘the family’ lol!).

    Reply
  • 5. Top Ten Christmas Gifts  |  November 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Wow.! good article. I like it. That is a good ideas.

    Reply
  • 6. mangocheeks  |  November 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    : P

    I’ve just been drooling over at orange-chocolate brownies at Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes and now I come here….

    Reply
  • 7. Papa G  |  November 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Nic your review deserves a major award, even an Oscar, almost as rich as the chocolate!

    Reply
  • 8. your husband  |  November 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    good wife points duly noted and ‘best wife’ trophy awarded for yet another year!

    Reply
  • 9. Nip it in the bud  |  November 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Mark – there’s always loads left at the bottom of the tin in most houses I visit at Christmas time. You’d be a welcome guest for gobbling them up :o) You won’t be disappointed by the selection Mark and all of the liquor ones are particularly goooood (hic)

    Anne – oh dear, I didn’t know I’d be offending my lovely readers. Like you say nothing wrong with a good coffee cream but some are a little iffy (or perhaps that’s just the opinion of a non-coffee drinker!)

    Anita – yeh, treat the whole family and keep the free box for yourself {wink}. Free chocolates = no calories doesn’t it?

    Stephen – thanks. You must have a lot of fun putting your gift suggestions together.

    MC – Jaq’s chocs look lovely too don’t they. How she actually managed to choose hers from such a large catalogue of goodies I’ll never know!

    Papa G – mmm, a chocolate Oscar there’s an idea! The champagne star has edible gold on it so there’s some mileage in the idea :o)

    G – you mean you would have considered giving it to someone else! I shall have to superglue it to the mantlepiece!

    Reply
  • 10. Domestic Goddess  |  November 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    OMG! Heaven, those sound like the most amazing little chocy treats ever. I had no idea so many people loved chocolate enough to buy it for themselves, I dont feel so self indulgent anymore hoorah!!

    Reply
  • 11. Margaret  |  November 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I love Hotel Chocolat and their boutiques are very happy places to spend some time. I have never bought any of their chocolates and not enjjoyed them. Last night we worked out way through a packet of their lemon truffles……………..heaven!

    Reply
  • 12. hillwards  |  November 15, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hi Nic, a great review! My husband bought me a box of their chocolates this weekend for my birthday, and they quickly disappeared when shared among family! Very tasty indeed…
    Sara

    Reply
  • 13. nina - tabiboo  |  November 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Mmmmmmmm chocolate – need I say more?

    Well apart from :: I’m not too sure if my will power would let me share.

    Nina xxx

    Reply
  • 14. anenthusiast  |  November 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    SO so glad you’re mentioning Christmas… we’ve been ramping up for it for a few weeks what with handmaking gifts this year. Love it! Love those chocs! Nom nomm….

    Reply
  • 15. Choclette  |  November 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Oh Nic, you’re starting down that long slippery slope – beware, you might end up a confirmed chocoholic like me! They do look rather scrummy.

    Reply
  • 16. Nip it in the bud  |  November 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Domestic Goddess – a tongue in cheek reference to the first survey but very true I’m sure. Giving to husbands with a ‘I’ll just have a little bite’ smile!

    Margaret – they have shops! lucky they don’t have one in Gloucester then. Lemon truffles sound lush

    Sara – what a clever husband you have or was he doing the ‘buy for my beloved so that I can share them’ trick? {wink}
    Happy belated birthday wishes

    an enthusiast – nom x 30 :o) have been enjoying your crafty creations – glad you’re blogging again x

    Choclette – they are fab – you’d be the perfect reviewer….

    Reply
  • 17. Bilbo  |  November 22, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Mmmm, yum yum (and I’m not much of a chocolate fan)

    Reply
  • 18. Christmas come early … what a treat « Nip it in the bud  |  December 12, 2011 at 6:48 am

    […] and cloves, then enrobed in thick dark chocolate and almond chips. Absolutely delicious and since liquer filled chocolates have always come out as favourites in previous reviews you’ll not want to miss these if you like something a bit boozy.  You could even kid […]

    Reply

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