Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's a Pirate's Life for Me!

Hotel Chocolat http://www.hotelchocolat.com/ is a British chocolate company that just opened its first US location in Boston. I reviewed some of their chocolate bark in an earlier post (and still have more to review!). This is their Christmas box. The first thing that struck me when I opened the box was the odor of alcohol. Odd, right?

But when I looked a little closer, I saw that several of the confections had booze in them, so I guess it makes sense. Now here's the downside, I'm not such of a drinker, so I don't really love the alcohol/chocolate combo. So this was a bit of a bummer for me. But hey, most people would probably really like it.

I loved all of these - great designs, great chocolate. I loved the mistletoe - a smooth caramel milk chocolate. Wonderfully sweet and creamy and a very cool design. The ornament is an equally delicious milk chocolate with a hint of hazelnut. YUM!!! Dark chocolate fans will love the penguin - a 72% dark chocolate in a lovely design. These were all terrific.

The one with the red top has some strawberry liqueur in it. I didn't like it. The other milk chocolate one is better - it has milk chocolate and caramel and those round things are mini shortbread cookies. It was good, but not as good as it sounds. It was maybe a seven, but really should have been a ten. And the white chocolate one? Finely milled macadamia nuts in creamy white chocolate with a hint of coconut. Hmmm....I found the white chocolate overpowered everything else with its sweetness. Macadamia nuts are sweet too and I couldn't really catch the hint of coconut.....maybe if you bit off the penguin's head first, it would give a better blend of flavors. Nothing like a little holiday violence!

The yellow star was my worst nightmare - lemon and ginger - glacck! Now many of you might really like that creative combo, but not me. The ginger was too strong for me and with the lemon - eek!

The one at the top is a rum and raisin star - no rum for me - too strong. I'm not a pirate for God's sake! I just like chocolate!

And the pink star has raspberry and prosecco (I didn't even know what that was! It's a sparkling wine). Again, I didn't like it. These guys are killing me with all the alcohol. To me the alcohol overpowers the subtle flavors of the chocolate.

The little round guys are mini whisky truffles. Eew. Sorry, I'm just doomed with these.

Now I liked the other two - the white chocolate one is the smoothest and creamiest hazelnut and milk chocolate praline ever enrobed in white chocolate and topped with a Christmassy cranberry. Yum, yum, yum!!!

And the square is a pecan nut praline blended with crushed feuilletine pieces (I had to look that one up too: Usually only seen in the professional kitchen, feuilletine (foo-ye-teen, more-or-less, from the French "feuille," meaning "leaves") tastes like crispy, thin little shards of sugar cone. You can mix it in to mousses to add some crunch.) Great - some leaves are in here. Anyway, those sugar leaves are pretty damn good!

Overall the collection had too much whisky, rum and liqueur for yours truly. But hey, I learned two new words and I don't think I'm drunk. Although I'm thinking about flying the Jolly Roger and I already have a peg leg........


diane said...

not every one wants to be a pirate... having to live by the "code" and all. Watch your mail ;)

Denise Ryan said...

Diane, you crack me up!! Got the mail - you rock!!! Took photos for the blog! : )