To be honest I don’t know where I stand on these Hotel Chocolat Mince Pies. Part of me thinks that its great that Hotel Chocolat are offering some nice novelty chocolate gifts, but when I look at the price of these six praline and salted caramel cups, for that’s what they are, then I struggle to think they’re good value for more money. You see, you can get more than twice the number of ‘Christmas Spirits’ from Thorntons for 50p. Now, of course, chocolate is about quality not quantity, but I can’t help but think that the huge price rises in the Hotel Chocolat Christmas range may make them uncompetitive for many more households this year.
Granted these chocolate mince pies are cute, but I can’t think who’d buy them. Parents may think its a bit frivelous to leave out for Father Christmas when they’ll probably bulk up with conventional mince pies from the favourite supermarket who are selling them at a loss to draw people in. Children on a limited budget may not wish to part with so much money as a gift for their parents and teenagers, well Hotel Chocolat offers them much more cute and interesting chocolates. I do start to wonder if chocolatiers produce some novelty chocolates for the sake of it or because it sounded a good idea at the time.
Perhaps I’m just tight. But £7.50 for six small treats? Ok So Marc Demarquette is twice that, but, in all seriousness I think he deserves to charge what he does. In the main, Hotel Chocolat do, but this seasonal range is a touch over-priced for my liking. Am I being over-critical? Will people just buy these because they’re ‘cute’ and are a more sophisticated stocking filler than the kitsch gold chocolate coins? With budgets this tight, I think they’ll have trouble shifting these in great numbers.
But how do they taste? Well, they’re much lighter than I thought they would be. The salted caramel isn’t ‘claggy’ at all, but there’s only the very slightest saltiness – perhaps this aspect was an attempt to make them appear more sophisticated than the usual caramel treats which are aimed at children? The praline was again also very light whilst the chocolate cup was very much on the sweet side.
These mince pies are very much like driving through the mist. You can’t recognise anything, you wish you were somewhere else and you’re very mindful of the cost. But all’s not lost, I’ve very much looking forward to reaching Christmas at Santa’s House (more of that to follow).