Monday, 14 November 2011

Review: Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar 'Truffles to Share'

This advent calendar was gratefully received courtesy of Hotel Chocolat and it felt really naughty to eat the whole thing by 14 November!  However, I had a review to do, so I had the perfect excuse.    I'm guessing this is aimed at Double Income No Kids Yet couples (can anyone else afford £24 for an advent calendar?) who want to share a high end product. The (rather seductive) gimmick is that there are two chocolates behind each window.   I do have children and they were very excited about it, but they only liked one or two of the truffle flavours.  In fact rather than bickering over who would have the chocolates we were all saying 'No, go on, you have the mulled wine truffle.'

 I loved the Salted Soft Caramel and quite liked the gingerbread truffle, the plain and milk truffles, but the mulled wine flavour was rejected by all of us and only one of us, my 10 year old son, liked the cinnamon praline. All the chocs were the same nipple shape.  It would have been more fun with some variation e.g. Stars, trees, snowmen etc

On the plus side, two chocs per advent window is a great idea.  Right sized chocolates, three quarter sized = a nice mouthful.  

Negatives: high price and dubious flavours. The packaging design was half right: I liked the sparkly icicle and tree pattern but there was an ugly strip of white cardboard down the middle on the hinge of the calendar. 
It would have been nice if the website had listed the truffle flavours contained within this calendar.  There are some very tiny icon symbols to show they contain e.g. alcohol, nuts, milk etc ( hey, hotel choc, can you make those symbols a bit larger?  They're very difficult to interpret in such a small size) but no list of flavours.
Overall our verdict was that it is a good concept, a little overpriced with not particularly yummy chocolate.
There are four other advent calendars in the range.  I think the others have festive shaped chocs inside and are priced at £12-17
 Rather interesting that their website is also advertising a 'Cheese and Chocolate Tasting Experience.'  As a youngster I discovered the taste sensation of pairing mature cheddar cheese with Kit Kats, a guilty pleasure, but I've always been a fan of sweet-savoury combos.  They even use chocolate as a 'cracker' for cheese and serve sweet relishes instead of Branston.  Whooh.  Brave, but I'm liking it.


taja said...

Hello Kate,
Do you know seeds ( grain? ) called amaranth? If you know, coud you tell me how you cook it?

Grazing Kate said...

Hi taja. There's a link here,

They can be cooked as a cereal or added to soups, casseroles as thickener or even popped like popcorn. I haven't tried amaranth but often use quinoa grain instead of rice or couscous. Are you selling lots of your beautiful blue glazed pots?

taja said...

Thanks. I will try the site. Yes, i am trying to sell lots of blue pots.

Alvina said...

Hi Kate
Good to connect with another follower of the Andrea story, and particularly as I am new to writing a regional travel blog. You have some great ideas. Coincidentally I was in Devon for New Year!

Grazing Kate said...

Hi Alvina - and now I've discovered your website too - I shall read on with interest. Sounds like you had fun in Devon for New Year - it's a shame you didn't have some glorious blue skies though! Yes following Butterflyist with interest....

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