When Hotel Chocolat kindly offered to send me their Season of Love goody bag to review I jumped at the chance, faster than a harrased, forgetful gentleman may jump at the very last bunch of flowers at the local garage at 11pm on the 14th February.
The bag is described as 'An irresistible selection of must-have seasonal specialities, perfectly sized to surprise someone special – with mellow vanilla truffles, warming chilli caramels, creamy raspberry chocolate and more'.
I've never reviewed chocolates before (as you will soon discover). So A and I had stern words with ourselves: 'Noo! Don't eat them all at once! We need to be objective! Masterful in our descriptions! Study carefully the intricacies of each chocolate!'
So, we sat down, serious looks upon our faces and using ACTUAL CLIPBOARDS* we wrote down the following:
A: I have chosen to start on the chilli chocolates, as, similar to tasting of fine cheese or fine wine, it is worth starting with the stronger flavours. These chocolates shine with a smooth polished darkness. They look innocent enough, the brush of red, the only hint of chilli from the outside. Biting into it, a light bodied delicate caramel greets the mouth, the rich chocolate crumbles to reveal a pleasing chilli glow. The melting chocolate softens the chilli and rounds off the taste.
A: Vanilla as a flavour can go two ways: imagine a depressingly dull ice-cream, described as vanilla flavoured because that is the closest approximation fatty milk, cream and sugar has to a flavour. In contrast, vanilla pods can bring a rich smooth and delicate depth to truffles. Thankfully, we were greeted with the latter in this case.
Raspberry Riot Slab:
A: Imagine a seven year old who has broken into a chocolate making kitchen. They enter the kitchen where the most delicate of artisan chocolates are designed, crafted and expertly formed using fine ingredients from all around the world. They make quick work, gleefully tossing each favourite ingredient into the chocolate mix. Knowing that if they like each ingredient on its own, surely combining them all will be even better! In goes chocolate biscuits, strawberry chocolate, milk chocolate, meringue and raspberry pieces. Stir it round a bit and....perfection
Caramel Chocolate Buttons:
A: Smooth caramel, melting buttons...yes, these properly melt in your mouth
Me: Like Skips?
A: No, not like Skips