It's a hard job being a reviewer sometimes ! Hotel Chocolat sent us through a lovely box of their summer chocolates to try out.
Summer and chocolate are two words that I wouldn't necessarily have put together - when it gets too hot, chocolate melts after all ! - but the description on the box sounded so tempting, I couldn't wait to dive in. It promises "a rainbow fusion of fresh, zesty flavours for a pure taste of summer, come rain or shine". Yum !
The first thing that struck me was how pretty they are. They are visually striking with lots of pretty colours and details, making each one into an edible work of art. There are fourteen different varieties to discover and, strangely, I had a lot of willing helpers at hand !
Just look at that - the photos speak for themselves so words are superfluous really ! This one is Peach & Hazelnut Gratin, "sweet peach ganache and rich hazelnut praline crowned with a whole crunchy hazelnut". It is as utterly delectable as it sounds.
I had to fight everybody off to take photos before they disappeared !
Get ready for the wonderfully indulgent Summer Pudding - "gloriously juicy, wickedly tangy red fruit gananche wrapped in milk chocolate" - which got a thumbs up from Pierre (and me, because he let me have a little taste !).
By far the most surprising combination is Summer Cooler - "refreshing apple and cucumber ganache, encased in white chocolate blended with zingy mint leaves". Madhouse Daddy bravely offered to try this one and said that it was different but nice. We all had a bit of the other one and agreed - it sounds like it shouldn't work but it's a fabulous explosion of flavours.
Perfection in a chocolate - Strawberry Cheesecake, "sour cream cheesecake with a layer of tangy strawberry". I love the summery colours of this one, as well as the taste.
If that's too girly and feminine, you might prefer Shortbread Bite, "a chunk of dangerously moreish 50% milk chocolate praline and clotted cream shortbread pieces". Less surprising and original but equally tasty.
I opted for Key Lime Pie next - "fabulously zingy lime ganache and marscapone-flavoured white chocolate cheesecake". I love zesty flavours and this one made me shiver because it was so sharp, but not in an unpleasant way !
Peanut & Banana instantly appealed to the kids - "salted peanut praline with a smooth banana ganache topped with a caramel cap". You immediately get a taste of chocolate and banana, then the peanut butter flavour comes through in your mouth as it melts. Very sweet but beautifully, oozingly delicious !
Then there's Blackburrant Bombe, "a creamy dark chocolate truffle bursting with natural blackcurrant fruitiness" - tart but lovely.
Another surprising combination, Lavender Caramel, "thick caramel layered with a meltingly soft lavender ganache". Strange but not unpleasant.
Choc Fudge Sundae couldn't fail to please, "gorgeous sticky toffee and fudge sauce, intense praline and a sprinkle of crunchy cereal".
Burnt Caramel tastes better than it sounds ! - "intense soft caramel with masses of deep burnt sugar notes".
And Kiwi Smoothie, "fabulously lively and tangy kiwi blended with creamy high cocoa white chocolate". Sweet and fruity and light and lovely !
A couple got munched before I got there with the camera ! Pineapple and coconut, "a luxurious double layer tropical mocktail of piquant pineapple and soft coconut in sumptuous white chocolate" and Frappuccino, "a super shot of coffee and white chocolate ganache in fabulously smooth milk chocolate".
There wasn't a single one that nobody liked (although Madhouse Daddy was the only one to like the coffee one !). If you want a box of chocolates with originality and beauty, this is perfect.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £24 (for 28 chocolates)
for more information : http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/shop/gift-ideas/summer/summer-fusions-sleekster
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.
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