“ Brand: Hotel Chocolat „
As I was working on Saturday, my mum nipped in to give me my Easter present early. Never one to buy cheap chocolate, or to stick with the traditional boring egg, she presented me with the Hotel Chocolat Large Dipping Adventure, a kit containing 4 different pots of chocolate and a variety of dunkies - a sort of big fondue set.
Now, the box she presented me with had a 50 % off sticker, as it needed to be eaten by the end of April . Whilst I might have accused my mum of being cheap had it been a standard Easter egg, that accusation certainly wouldn't be fair on this occasion - the full retail price of this product is a whopping £32, meaning that even at half price my mum had spent £16 on this kit.
Now, not one to wait until Easter for my chocolate fix, the boyfriend and I decided to crack open this kit on the Sunday. This was a simple matter of following the instructions to heat up the chocolate in the microwave and make it all melty . I was pleased that instructions were included for different microwave wattages, as well as for melting the chocolate in a bain marie.
Then, we unwrapped all the various goodies for dunking, and each picked up a pair of the little wooden tongs that were included (there are six pairs included, so this would be a great kit for sharing with friends).
There were four different pots of chocolate included - White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Caramel Milk Chocolate, and 70 % Dark Chocolate . They all seemed to melt fairly well, barring the dark chocolate which seemed a lot thicker in consistency .
As far as the dunkies go, there was a wide selection - Marshmallows, sesame & sea salt paper waffles, gianduja, brazil nuts, chocolate almond biscuits, florentines, and tiny little breadsticks. I was quite pleased that there were a couple of savoury items in there, and that there were a variety of different textures, as it meant there was a lot more variation in the dipping experience .
My boyfriend and I both promptly decided that we just didn't like the dark chocolate pot - it was simply too dark and too bitter for our tastes. All the other chocolate dips were delicious, with the caramel probably being my favourite as it was simply not a taste I get that often . It was pleasing to note that the dips took a long time to set hard again after being melted, though they did thicken up a little, as it meant we were in no rush to hurry to eat the kit.
My favourite item for dipping had to be the bitter cocoa dusted brazil nuts - the almost bland flavour of the nut combined with bitter cocoa and sweet chocolate made for a really good combination of flavours. I also rather liked the sea salt waffles, which were thin, yet quite large, and wonderfully crunchy in the mouth .
I wasn't particularly keen on the gianduja , which are balls of soft chocolate paste, coated in chocolate . There doesn't seem much sense to me in covering chocolate with chocolate, and then dipping it in more chocolate . In fact, only two of these got eaten with the coating, the rest are sitting in the fridge to be snacked on later.
In terms of proportion, there is so much chocolate dip that even if you absolutely smother your dunkies, you will have a fair bit left . We have kept ours in the fridge, and intend to melt it into boiling milk to make some nice mugs of hot chocolate later .
That doesn't mean there isn't a generous amount of things to dip - the amounts really are quite generous, with the exception of the brazil nuts . Now, I know these nuts are quite large and bulky, but even I know that five nuts and six sets of tongs doesn't work out! Had my fella and I shared this with friends, someone would have been left missing a nut, and that's never a good end to a social event!
In all honesty, this kit was huge for my boyfriend and I, but we ate like gluttons and valiantly struggled through, both feeling really quite sick in the end, and still having a lot of chocolate left over . We probably wouldn't purchase this again - although the chocolate, and all the items, are very nice quality, it is too big and too pricey a kit .
However, I do think this would make a lovely gift, or a lovely dessert to share with friends after a dinner party, and I certainly think we had a lot of fun with it! Thanks mum for the lovely early Easter present - 4*.