Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hotel Chocolat Easter Eggs

Sat 17 Mar 2007

In amongst all the munching on the weekend, we found time to fit in some chocolate - this time in the form of a luxury nutty Easter egg from Hotel Chocolat.

I have quite a few friends and colleagues who are fans of Hotel Chocolat, which started life as a mail order enteprise but now has actual shops full of chocolatey goodness. In the past I have used the website as a handy way of ordering gifts when visiting friends, rather than buying chocolates for myself, although I am quite a fan of their drinking chocolate. It consists of real flakes of chocolate and makes an incredibly rich drink. It's a monumental improvement on bog-standard cocoa or powdered drinking chocolate.

The nutty egg I was lucky enough to sample arrived in a smart black box, with the two halves of the egg wrapped in plain bronze coloured foil. The fact that the egg comes in two distinct halves is quite important. Firstly, it means that each half can be different chocolate: in this case, dark and milk with nuts. Secondly it means the chocolate is good and thick. And finally, it means that the halves can be filled with even more chocolate. Yes, each half of the egg is filled with a selection of Hotel Chocolat's nut chocolates. Fortunately, the packaging means you can keep the halves separate and you're not compelled to eat the who 420g of chocolate at once!

In the lottery of 'which half would I open first' I won with the dark chocolate, which happens to be my favourite type. Hotel Chocolat's dark chocolate is very smooth and is less bitter than many - so if you know any doubters about dark chocolate this might be a good place to start them off! The egg's shell is thick, which means that you almost always break off more than you expect. What a shame!

My favourite of the chocolates contained in the egg is the dark chocolate rocher, which is slivers of almonds formed into a dark chocolate rock. It's delicious! There are white and milk versions of these, as well as chocolate coated brazils and macadamias (the macadamias are lovely too), and chocolates based around pistachios and hazelnuts.

This is a very grown up Easter egg (and, at £18, you're probably not going to want to buy one for each of the many small children in your life). You should ensure that you give it to someone special enough that you manage to have to share it with them. Between two of us we ate less than a half on a Saturday night, which has left me with plenty to myself, which I'm working my way through quite steadily.

If nuts aren't quite your prospective recipient's thing then Hotel Chocolat are offering a selection of other luxury eggs. You can read about the fruity truffle one over at Spittoon Extra. And while you're there, you'll probably want to enter the competition!

Hotel Chocolat do deliver world wide (outside the UK it is quite pricey) and they have stores nationwide.

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Blogger Unknown said...

We are already great fans of Hotel Chocolat - and I can strongly recommend joining their Chocolate Tasting Club! At £16.99 a month, it's not cheap, but every month a new lush collection (two of everything so that - in theory!! - I can share them with my other half) of chocs arrives, and to justify your gluttony you score them and comment. Annually, a box of the highest scoring chocs is available too - bliss!! Membership also gives you a discount on your Hotel Chocolat orders.

On another note entirely, when you are next at the Leeds Farmers' Market, look out for a butcher's van at the top of the market, selling possibly the best bacon in the world! Very traditional, the sides of bacon are cut on a slicer, the smoked is great, but the one cured with some dark concoction of vinegar is unbelievable!!

Good luck with your course, Kirsty

12:04 pm  

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