There can’t be many of us that don’t like biscuits. There might be the odd few that aren’t that fond of shortbread, but I’d wage a few quid that there are plenty that wouldn’t countenance the possibility of paying £10 * for a box of biscuits – certainly not 160g of them – regardless of the fact that they’re rolled in cocoa nibs.
Of all the items that Hotel Chocolat kindly sent me, the one that stood out the most, apart from the gin (of course) were these biscuits. To be honest this house has been pretty light on this type of sweet treats for a good while and I just couldn’t wait to tuck in.
I knew that the guys there had expanded into ‘Cocoa Cuisine’ as I had spent a wonderful day with their product development team at their factory and tasted, first hand, how good their new savoury products were. But I hadn’t seen these before.
‘Fussy’ isn’t something I’d normally describe myself when it comes to biscuits. I’ll eat basically anything, but my preference is for triple chocolate cookies. Occasionally I’d grab shortbread as that’s what is usually left over after Christmas, but I would rarely buy them for myself. But these are different. They’ve got placid cocoa nibs adorning the edges and a dash of cinnamon, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cloves and cardamom. I knew on tasting that there was something different about the shortbread, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I knew they were nice, but not to the high standards their Rabot 1745 sets.
Of course the texture was perfect and very short. The cocoa nibs on the edge added a bit more resistance and variety of flavour. But the greatest shock I had was the price: £10. I know I’m northern, but not even I would hand over a tenner for a box of biscuits – a bar of fine chocolate, yet, but biscuits no. I know I’d have difficulty spending that money on a bottle of wine (I know, I’m uncultured), but that’s just personal taste.
Hotel Chocolat also sell Verandah biscuits which look more my cup of tea and so do the Boucanier biscuits. But, again, if I was in store and looking for a treat I would still try any variety of their Rabot instead. One thing I’d never do is suggest that Hotel Chocolat have made a mistake, as they know what they’re doing.