Monday, 2 December 2013

Hotel Chocolat The Classic Christmas Sleekster Selection Review

When offered a box of this "Sleekster Classic Christmas Selection" from Hotel Chocolat to review recently, I naturally jumped at the chance. Hotel Chocolat's stuff is always impeccable quality, but I have limited experience with their mixed boxes so wasn't quite sure what to expect. 


I needn't have worried, because as always Hotel Chocolat have come up with a fantastically presented box of chocolates. It's a selection that should cater to everyone's tastes, although if you don't like alcoholic chocolates I'm afraid this isn't for you - I would recommend going for the Winter Desserts Sleekster instead. (I must admit I'm not a great fan of alcoholic chocolates myself, but I wasn't about to let that stop me from trying these!)

The selection comprises of fruity chocolates, nuts, alcohol and spices in milk, dark and white chocolate. Below are my thoughts on each flavour:

Chambard Royale:


"A real Champagne truffle blended with black raspberry liqueur" - I'm not a big fan of alcohol-filled chocolates but this really worked thanks to the creaminess of the white chocolate, with the raspberry liquer adding a fruity edge that wasn't overpowering. Creamy, fresh and very tasty! 8 out of 10.

Christmas Mess:



"Fabulously fruity cranberry ganache and strawberry mousse with meringue sprinkles" - This one was absolutely delicious...the sharpness of the cranberry was nicely balanced by the fruity strawberry mousse, whilst the white chocolate provided a creamy backdrop. The meringue pieces added a welcome crunch. Very yummy and a perfect Christmas-themed chocolate! 9 out of 10.

Cranberry Cup:



"Invigoratingly tangy cranberries blended in a more-cocoa white chocolate ganache" - this tasted sharp and fruity but also very smooth thanks to the white chocolate. I could eat these all day - they're much nicer than the fruit cremes found in regular chocolate selections! 9 out of 10.

Rum Punch:



"A creamy milk truffle with ginger and orange and lashings of premium Jamaican rum" - I'm not a great fan of alcoholic chocolates so wasn't too keen on this - it was a little strong for my tastes. However, fans of rum chocolates will no doubt love it as the quality is excellent.

Nutmeg & Almond Praline:


"An elegant almond praline in white chocolate enhanced with a hint of nutmeg"- This praline was very creamy and nutty, with the strong nutmeg flavour giving it a Christmassy feel. Very tasty indeed! 8 out of 10.

White Chocolate & Vanilla Bell:


White Vanilla Bell, Dark Christmas Tree, 50% Milk Bauble
"Cast in our exquisitely creamy more-cocoa white chocolate with vanilla essence and seeds" - This tasted amazing. Hotel Chocolat's white Chocolate is always exceptional quality and that was very evident here; it melted in the mouth beautifully and tasted creamy without being overly sweet. The vanilla seeds enhanced the flavour even further. 9 out of 10.

Dark Christmas Tree:
"Cast in our classically smooth dark chocolate with deep aromas and punchy cocoa notes" - this had the classic taste of Hotel Chocolat's dark chocolate; it was rich without tasting bitter, and melted in the mouth perfectly. 8.5 out of 10.

50% Milk Bauble:
"Deeply chocolaty but still gorgeously milky – made with less sugar and more cocoa" - this is a richer take on milk chocolate, and all the more delicious for it. A perfect balance of rich cocoa with a hint of creaminess. 8.5 out of 10.

Pistachio Praline Crunch:



"Pistachio praline with cherry pieces and a hint of rose crowned with a whole pistachio nut" - this chocolate looked fantastic and tasted extremely smooth and nutty, with the cherry pieces adding a hint of fruitiness. Very rich and satisfying. 8 out of 10.

Mulled Port:



"A deliciously warming truffle with our own ruby port, spiced with Pimento leaf and bitter orange" - Like the other alcoholic chocolates I wasn't a fan of this one, but anyone who loves a good quality alcoholic chocolate will no doubt enjoy it a lot!

Marzipan & Amaretto Truffle:



"Fine almond marzipan softened with a splash of mellow amaretto" - The marzipan here is tasty and good quality, with the amaretto giving it a pleasant flavour, but it was a little too alcoholic for my tastes. 7 out of 10.

Caramel Supernova:



"A star of oozingly soft caramel paired with our 70% dark chocolate" - When I cut into this it unfortunately imploded, so apologies for the messy-looking pic. Perhaps that's what happens when it goes supernova?! It tasted delicious; the caramel centre was very gooey with a lovely buttery flavour that contrasted perfectly with the rich dark chocolate. 9 out of 10.

Praline Crisp Star:



"A rewarding contrast of smooth, mellow praline and masses of nibbly feuilletine"  - This one was amazing...the praline tasted rich and melted in the mouth beautifully, with the crunchy feuilletine giving it an added crunchy moreishness. 9 out of 10.

Overall
Hotel Chocolat have done it again and put together a festive box which will surely please everyone. There's alcoholic chocolates, dark, white, fruity, nutty, caramel, and spiced...what more could you want?! Whilst I didn't enjoy the alcoholic chocolates, I would highly recommended this selection to those who like a good variety to share out with family over Christmas - ditch the Milk Tray and go for these instead!

Hotel Chocolat's Christmas Sleekser is available from their stores or their website HERE.

*These chocolates were sent to me for an honest review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

What boxed chocolates will you be buying for Christmas this year? Let me know in the comments! :)

6 comments:

  1. This looks so good. I just cannot get enough of HC and the Christmas Mess is probably one of my fave chocolates from them ever! Your photos look fab Kev!

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    1. Thanks Hannah :) The christmas mess is great isn't it..I'm hoping santa will bring me a pack containing just that variety for xmas!

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  2. Why not try the Winter Desserts collection? It's completely alcohol free and contains chocolates based on apple strudel, tiramisu and, of course, Christmas Mess! I chose these over the classic collection because I don't like alcoholic chocolates.

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    1. I would have but it contained a lot of chocolates with gluten in which I'm sensitive to (although not intolerant). This one didn't have quite as many in.

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    2. I'm going to be near a Hotel Chocolat this weekend - I think I'll have to pop in and look for the Winter Desserts collection! Apple strudel sounds fantastic - plus I always prefer my chocolates without alcohol. :)

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  3. I'm not a huge fan of alcoholic chocolates myself and often find them a little overpowering, so I appreciated your review as I often find that reviews praise the 'boozy' flavourings (so they do little to help me in choosing whether to seek the product out or not!). The photo of the Christmas Mess is great too! Love seeing the clearly defined layers!

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