Whilst in Hotel Chocolat recently I noticed they had several new products as part of their summer range. As always I wanted to try them all, but with the selector offer I limited myself to three (very difficult!) The most unique were these carrot cake chocolates, described as "carrot ganache layered with a walnut, hazelnut, cinnamon and nutmeg praline sealed in a milk and white chocolate vanilla seed shell, decorated with naturally coloured white chocolate". At this point everyone's probably thinking "carrot ganache?!"....surely vegetables and chocolate don't mix? Well, they actually do and very successfully!
According to the pack, Britain first embraced the carrot cake during wartime rationing, and it's now loved more than ever. I have to say I'm very partial to a good carrot cake...it's the one cake I'd break any diet for. Do these chocolates live up to the much-loved British treat? Well, yes and no. They're a different beast and lack the cream cheese icing that makes carrot cake so tasty, but they do have the lovely flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg carrot cake is so well known for.
I couldn't really taste the carrot in these to be honest, which isn't bad as I don't think a strong carrot flavour would work with chocolate. The ganache just tasted sweet (it contains 4% carrot concentrate) and blended well with the spiced praline, complimented beautifully with the vanilla chocolate. The flavours all combined to make a spicy, creamy chocolate that is very pleasing on the palate. I ate some of these in caffe Nero washed down with a chai latte, which was the perfect accompaniment.
Overall, these are very tasty and unique. I'd recommend everyone who likes spiced chocolates try them!
RATING: 8 out of 10.
Now, as good as these were, there were other flavours in Hotel Chocolat's summer range I liked even more. Stay tuned for a review of the Rhubarb and Custard chocolates!...