I haven’t been writing a food blog for all that long, so when I was recently asked if I would do a review for the first time I almost fell off my chair. Especially since it was Hotel Chocolat doing the asking.
I’ve been a fan of Hotel Chocolat for quite some time. Whenever I walk past their shop in Bath I have to pick up speed and put my head down, as I know if I glance in, well that’s it. I’m a gonner. I’ll be in there spending the next week’s food budget on chocolate.
Hotel Chocolat invited me to review something from their Easter selection. Now, when I think of Hotel Chocolat, I think grown up chocolate. Dark, serious chocolate you need to take your time over and savour. Problem is, my blog is very much about family food. So I had to go against my instincts and choose something the whole clan could share, including my two girls age four and six.
Our family-friendly choice was You Crack Me Up, which Hotel Chocolat describe as
“an irrepressibly upbeat egg cast in 40% milk chocolate and bursting with our cheeriest chocolates, from smiley face pralines and happy chicks to classic Easter bunnies.”
We were all very excited when the package arrived in the post. Jessie’s jaw literally dropped. Straight off they knew this was going to be a little bit more special than their usual Buttons or Smarties eggs. And when the extra thick chocolate egg was opened up to reveal an assortment of fun treats, the girls wanted to dive straight in.
The googly-eyed funny faces in particular appealed to the girls: two chocolate brownies and two crunchy pralines.
And the fried eggs and white soldiers were rather popular.
The girls were also rather partial to the extra thick chocolate shell. I love Hotel Chocolat’s story behind this…
“When we first started making eggs 12 years ago, we were advised by industry experts to use the least amount of chocolate by making them as thin as possible and to arrange the chocolates around the outside of the egg to make it look as big as possible. We did the opposite and made ridiculously thick shells with all of the chocolates hidden inside for extra Easter excitement.”
It works. Opening up the egg to discover what lies within takes me back to my own excitement as a child at Easter time.
So my daughters were duly impressed. Although when asked if they preferred the Hotel Chocolat egg to their usual Easter eggs, Mia’s response was that she’d rather have Buttons “because they taste better.” She is only four of course.
And what about me and my husband? I think it probably goes without saying that we enjoyed the chocolate array. It’s bloody good chocolate after all. But the earth didn’t move. And it usually does for me when I eat Hotel Chocolat.
I think the problem lay in me trying to choose an egg that I thought the kids would enjoy too. Of course the children liked it but then, they would happily sit and eat the contents of a jar of Nutella if you let them. We thought it was a nice egg but nothing amazing. We preferred the shell to the cheery contents. But it just wasn’t intense enough. And we’d have been a bit disappointed if we’d paid £26 for it.
So lesson learned. If I had the choice again, I’d go for Your Eggscellency. One half of the shell is milk chocolate, the other half is dark. With 12 truffles filled with soft cream ganaches with Champagne, Amaretto, vodka, mojito and more. Much more grown up, and I imagine much more my kind of chocolate. When it comes to chocolate, it seems, you need to be selfish. Mother love has no place here. Ah well, we all live and learn.
You’ll find the full range of Hotel Chocolat’s Easter creations here.