One of the perks of the Christmas season is letting the diet go out the window for a while and enjoying a few special treats to eat. So when Hotel Chocolat asked us which of their Christmas products we'd like to try, it was 'The Signature Christmas Collection' selection box that caught my eye.
I really like selection boxes of chocolate as it feels like you're getting a new surprise in every mouthful as you spend time admiring how the chocolates look, reading about them on the 'menu' card, and even giving the chocolates a sniff to appreciate the different flavours.
This selection was beautifully presented in a circular box with an arty illustration. I loved the idea of the chocolates having Christmas-themed flavours like cranberry, mulled ports and nutmeg featuring in the collection.
I had hoped to treat daddy to the chocolates, (hence the photos featuring him on this blog post) but it turned out that I absolutely adored so many of them that daddy didn't actually get much of a look in.
I loved them so much that I can't resist telling you about a few of my absolute favourite flavours. The 'Christmas Mess' was a dark chocolate cup filled with a cranberry ganache that I just couldn't get enough of. It had a tangy taste to it - slightly sour to make your mouth water, then a layer of fruity strawberry ganache and topped with tiny meringue sprinkles. It was totally scrum-delicious.
Similarly I loved the 'Cranberry Cups' as they too were filled with that cranberry favoured ganache, this time in white chocolate.
Also worthy of a special mention were two perfect pralines. The 'Nutmeg and Almond Praline' flavour was one of the most perfect pralines I've ever tasted. The uniquely different 'White Caramel Pralines', as well as having a gorgeous hazelnut praline layer, also had a layer of runny caramel giving them an amazing taste and texture.
Daddy's favourites happened to be the ones containing alcohol, and as these are marked with their own symbol on the menu card, were easy to find. The 'Mulled Ports' was daddy's absolute fave from this collection.
I would normally polish off a box of 19 chocolates easily in one evening but these felt so special and were so rich and of such high quality that I managed to spread the delight over three whole evenings (a first for me when in comes to chocolate).
Also worth a mention is Hotel Chocolat's ethical credentials. It is at this point in the blog post that I thought I would be writing a sentence or two about the importance of fair trade as Hotel Chocolat does not carry the fair trade logo. But if you take a moment to look at why they don't, then you'll to see how they have their own practices to ensure that their cocoa production is ethical.
My only very teeny suggestion for improvement would be perhaps to include a bit of extra outer packaging. The box itself is lovely as a gift box but if it was to be wrapped in a layer of tissue paper or if it was to come in a gift bag it would just make it feel extra special for the recipient when they open it and they would know that someone has made a very special choice of gift for them. (There is actually an option to pay extra to have it gift wrapped when you order online).
I have to say, that with all the delightful, extraordinary, and especially-for-Christmas flavours, I was quite glad that our 7 year old son, aka The Brilliant Chef, had been sent his own Christmas treat from the lovely people at Hotel Chocolat, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to keep him away from ours. To see his review of the special Christmas surprise that hotel Chocolat sent him, see here.
'The Signature Christmas Collection' is £25 from Hotel Chocolat. It would make a lovely Christmas gift for someone special. It is one of a truly lovely range of Christmas chocolates available at Hotel Chocolat. Perhaps you'd choose a chocolate Festive Wreath, or a special Christmas Goody bag, or the fantastically good value Sleekster Classic Christmas collection which contains 28 chocolates including many of my favourite Christmas flavours!
Disclosure: we were sent this lovely box of chocolates worth 25 from hotel Chocolat for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own.
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