I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be reviewing this Classic Selection box from The Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Tasting Club. But seeing as hopefully some people might sign up as a result of me reviewing them, and then I’m sure they won’t mind. You see, with tasting clubs you get boxes of chocolates delivered to your door in a sort of a chocolate of the month club kind of way. And what Hotel Chocolat get out of it is feed back as to what people like and if the tastes of their are changing.
If I didn’t get a steady stream of chocolate already I expect I would have signed up to their tasting club, thankfully the great people there signed me up direct – and I’m incredibly pleased about that. You see, one of the downsides of reviewing chocolate is that you do review the same things over and over again, but what I loved about this selection box is that they included interesting bon bons such as a lemon ganache, milk chocolate with whisky ganache, a milk praline with cookies, strawberry buttercream and meringue, whole cherry in amaretto cream, milk and coffee ganache and a blueberry ganache – amongst others.
When I review a selection box, normally I’d carefully select the flavours however I was more interested to try them almost blindfolded to get a more realistic overview of what they’re like. The first of which was the lemon curd ganache as it looked like an interesting variety of truffle. Iit was incredibly pleasant – there’s an initial zip of lemon zestiness which subsides into a very creamy, decadent texture which, for some reason I wouldn’t normally place with Hotel Chocolat (I put them more into the praline, nougatine, caramel category. Even though they are rich I’m sure that if I had a box just of these that they could be consumed easily one after the other.
Normally I wouldn’t have chosen a liquid caramel chocolate, but the random nature of this review but me face to face with an exceptionally liquid caramel which I thoroughly enjoyed as that sweetness contrasts very well with the mild, unassuming milk chocolate shell. It was so liquid in fact, that I felt it coat my throat as it went down in a pseudo cough-mixture way.
The billionaire shortbread was next and is traditionally one of my favourite sweet treats. And here it was just divine – not too sweet and incredibly long-lasting in the mouth. Perhaps I would have liked a bit more of the shortbread, but that praline was exceptionally smooth and utterly delicious. I am actually licking my lips!!
And the Eton Mess was just as great. The flavour was fantastic, with another dose of fruity acidity from the strawberry butter-cream and a delightful soft crunch from the meringue. At this point I’m getting seriously addicted.
I finished off with the Griotte Deluxe which included a whole cherry encased in amaretto cream and, boy, is it good! It’s as tasty as it is massive. The flavours are intoxicating and utterly delicious. I know I couldn’t consume too many, but just the one is enough to offer a perfect ending to a hectic weekend!
Overall, they’re fantastic in terms of bon bons that will be produced in volume and readily available up and down the country. They step out of the run-of-the-mill selection box flavours and offer something very different. And that’s what I love about chocolate tasting clubs: you’re not trying chocolates that have been whittled-down in some X Factor process to a middle of the road selection box that ticks all the boxes of commercialism. Instead you’re getting a Katie Waissel (who I liked a lot) with the occasional Wagner, and that’s the nub of selection boxes – variety.