After having decided to Dasher-way from the disappointing LE Selectors that Hotel Chocolat push out at this time of year, I figured it would be worth giving the Wreaths a whirl - A cranberry and pistachio packed White for those who like things on the sweeter side and a Milk Chocolate, cookie, florentine combo for the traditionalist with a twist.
Priced at £7 and each weighing in at 100g, these Wreaths are definitely a big of a splurge.. But when something looks so beautiful, it makes for a pretty stunning gift to a loved one.. Or to yourself.
Made using 36% cocoa and 27% milk solids for the White and 50% cocoa and 20% Milk for the Milk Chocolate, only the finest of ingredients are used by Hotel Chocolat with both being suitable for vegetarians and are alcohol free.
On closer inspection of the Cookie Wreath, it appears mine had bloom on it. Why does something that is meant to be a luxury product have bloom on it? "It won't effect the taste"? I don't care. I don't want bloom, thank you very much!
The Festive Wreath - White
Solid creamy white chocolate with cranberries and pistachio nuts.
Extremely sweet smelling and not all to dissimilar to a MilkyBar, the quality of chocolate itself didn't disappoint in melting perfectly on the tongue with a silky smooth feel and having a creamy, sweet flavour that was by no means sugary or cloying. A whole host of different textures contrasted this from the plethora of added extras - A pleasant chew from the plump, ruby cranberries which also provided a pop of tartness and a solid crunch from the gloriously green, pistachio nuts. The balance of different elements was perfect despite having a lot going on and it even wasn't too rock solid to bite! A 4 out of 5 from me.
The Festive Wreath - Cookie
Milk chocolate with nibbly cookies and caramelised almond florentines squares.
Moving onto the Cookie option which I am happy to say, possessed the aroma that any decent dark chocolate should. Taste wise, things were plenty rich with cocoa tones of a good sweet/intense balance and certainly a lot more pleasant than most milk chocolates. Packed with chunky, crunchy cookie pieces and hard yet chewy florentine, the biscuity and caramelised nutty flavours came through a treat and provided a real mouthful, especially when contrasting to the sleek feel of melting chocolate. Another absolute delight - 4 out of 5.
Overall, both of these Festive Wreaths do it for me and I am pretty chuffed I picked some good'uns from Hotel Chocolat this year - £14 well spent, I reckon! There is also a Rare & Vintage number, packed with hazelnuts, almonds and cranberries for anyone who favours the dark side as well as the option to go big with a 450g Wreath, priced at £22 for the aforementioned and today's variants at £20.. Just incase anyone is feeling particularly generous and up to sharing this Christmas!