I just can’t keep up with the range of selection boxes that Hotel Chocolat have to offer. My rudimentary calculations work it out to be about forty different selection boxes in total. And it’s all for a good reason, they know that everyone likes to have different types of selection boxes, some would prefer ones with only dark chocolates in, others milk and a few mad people out there just prefer white chocolate. But they don’t stop there, you can get them in a myriad of different sizes and themes too. Here they sent me the 480g ‘The Sleekser Classic Christmas Selection – Luxe’ – isn’t that a mouthful?
But what do you get for your £28? Well you get 40 chocolates of various types but many of which have a Christmas theme such as stars, bells, Christmas trees in various different flavours such as cinnamon pralines, whisky truffles, mulled wine, champagne and solid plain ones too. Now there’s no way that I’m going to be able to review the whole box in an afternoon, so I’m just going to take out a sample of the ones that look most interesting. If you’d like to see some of their other reviews to get a ‘taste’ for what they’re like, have a look at: The Cocktail Sleekster and The Chocolatier’s Table – which took me more than a fortnight to finish off last year.
I started off with the Amaretto Amour which was a cream ganache with amaretto and crushed amoretti biscuit. To be honest, I couldn’t find a better place to start as I just love amaretto and this had a gorgeous Bakewell tart flavour at the beginning with a lovely sweet flavour, but it was the very alcoholic flavour that just jumps out of nowhere and hits the back of your throat that I just love. This certainly isn’t for those that don’t like a punchy experience. Yikes. Am I safe to drive?
Then it was the turn of the ‘dark liquid caramel’ which I wasn’t too fond of. To me the dark chocolate and the caramel were disjointed with the caramel having a very rounded, (obviously) sweet flavour whilst the dark chocolate had a quite a few shades darker. I might have preferred it if the two flavours appeared at the same time, but the dark only came through after the sweet caramel had disappeared. I’m sure caramel lovers will appreciate it, but I much prefer the Amaretto Amour.
The Gingerbread truffle had a strange ginger and caramel ganache that tasted very earthy. I could feel some action at the back of my throat which I assume was the ginger, I’d prefer it to be much more up-front by reducing the cinnamon somewhat – but that’s probably being a bit over the top. What I did like was that it’s a new truffle – I don’t recall having one before and I’d like to see them do other ginger chocolates.
I then had the cranberry and apple star which incredibly tangy. The cranberry compote was layered above the apple ganache and battled in your mouth for attention. As they’re both sweet, acidic flavours it’s actually difficult to work out which flavour dominated. What I can tell is that the cranberry lasted the longest by giving a lovely sweet coating to the back your mouth. It was very interesting to try something so sharp after having the gingerbread that didn’t have any peeks of flavour.
The Champagne star was next and I loved it, although I did prefer their pink Champagne truffles as they had a delightful crunchy shell. This star was a much lighter affair in terms of texture, however, the flavour was much the opposite, it was incredibly sweet and luscious.
Last of the selection I tried was the ‘Alternative Christmas Pud’ which was awesome. Not only it did it taste like Christmas pudding but it had that delightful texture too. Even if you buy the selection box for these, it’d be worth it! But there are another twenty different chocolates to try so there is a great deal variety there.