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One of the things I like about Hotel Chocolat is that they give chocolate buyers plenty of time to get their orders in early. At time of writing we’re still ten weeks away from the long Easter weekend and yet Hotel Chocolat have made their Easter eggs available to pre-order – well 48 of them anyway.
Each year the guys from Royston, Cambridgeshire extend and improve their ranges and seemingly offer something for everyone. I know their prices have been shooting up in the past few years, but if you offer chocolate that people crave for and enjoy getting then you can’t really expect anything else.
Another feature of the Hotel Chocolat Easter range is that they do offer something for everyone; not only because they cater for diabetics, children, people that don’t like alcohol etc., but also because they offer Easter treats from as little as Â£5. Breaking up their range into easily digestible (excuse the pun) here’s what I think of what they’re offering this year.
Â£5 – Â£9
Sharing Easter Gift
The most simple of Easter gifts are these small mini eggs where you get two milk chocolate ones and one each of dark and white chocolate. They do look nice, but the fact that you’re paying Â£5 for something that’ll be gone in a few seconds is something that doesn’t sit well for me. I am, however, tight when it comes to things like this. I much prefer to spend more money and get something more substantial.
Chocolates In A Tin
They also do a range of three of these little eggs contained in a cute tin. The Niblatron has three mini eggs filled with salted caramels which I suspect are targeted more at boys whilst the “Twinkle Toes” tin has the same mini eggs but contained in a beautiful tin with a butterfly printed on it. Whilst the “Small Easter” tin is an alternative option as it’s classically (perhaps incorrectly) less stereotypical by being present in a more of a garden design. Inside each of these tins the mini eggs are wrapped in golden foil. They’re priced at Â£5 for the three. I’d definitely go for this option if you’d like to have a keepsake after Easter where you can put little treasures in them.
Every season Hotel Chocolat trot out these little festive treats which are just little nibbling chocolates in the shape of something relevant? And why do they do them? Well because they’re so damn good! This Easter they do them in the shape of chicks and come in either dark chocolate at the 70% cocoa solids level or milk chocolate at a decent 40% level. Even though you’re getting 85g of chocolate for Â£5.50 I still think they’re great value if you’re buying them for a friend at school, a parent or just a mate at work. One thing I do know, however, is that’ll be gone in no time at all.
New for this year is a cute hollow Easter bunny carrying some buttons in a basket. I’m not sure if they make this one as I have the feeling that it’s similar to the chocolate pumpkin they sold last Halloween. That being said, it does look cute and it is a fairly decent size at 150g which does make it good value for money.
Flavoured Easter Treats
One thing I have criticised Hotel Chocolat on in the past is that they don’t offer many flavoured seasonal chocolate treats. That is until now. Many people just love chocolates focused on a particular flavour. Other chocolatiers have done well on this front in the past, but now you can get some dark chocolate Egglets, milk chocolate praline ones, some pink Champagne ones as well those salted caramel ones. They all come in handy carrying boxes with eight in each and at Â£6.50 I would say that these are the best value for money of all the egglet options.
Hollow Easter Chick With Eggs
Similar to the hollow bunny you can get a small chocolate duck and four of the egglets. Although it looks cute, I’d be less inclined to get one of these. At just 85g I think you’re probably better off getting a box of those egglets for the same price.
Novelty Easter Chocolates
I’ve reviewed some hot cross bun chocolate truffles before which were just dreadful – but obviously they weren’t made by Hotel Chocolat, but some company that will remain nameless. These ones, however, do look good. Inside the milk chocolate coating you’ll find some vanilla mouse with a hint of ginger and cinnamon and a whole raisin in the middle. I’ve not seen these flavours combined in the past and are looking forward to trying them when they’re available to buy in the middle of February for Â£7.50 for the six of them.
More Novelty Easter Chocolates
I just love the look of these Eggs & Soldiers and they prove it’s not all about how much chocolate you get for your money. For your Â£7.50 you’ll get five half eggs which are coated in milk chocolate (or dark if you choose that option) filled with praline with a touch of white chocolate on the top to resemble a fried egg. You’ll also get some white chocolate batons with some of yellow chocolate to make it look like you’ve dipped them in a runny egg. I’m sure even those of you who love your eggs to be cooked so they’re solid would appreciate these.
More Gourmet Mini Eggs
As they extend their range of egglets into even bigger combinations, you can get them in a pretty box of eight with four milk chocolate, and two each of white and dark. Their site doesnâ€™t actually say what they’re filled with so it might be a guess, but I’d expect some of them to be filled with salted caramel and the others with praline.
Unique Chocolate Gifts
In the past three years the prices of these chocolate sandwiches have risen by about 30%, but they are still a cost-effective way to give good quality chocolate to children when you didn’t want to overload them with eggs – especially if you’ve got a large family. If you buy three or more then they’re priced at Â£7, otherwise they’re Â£8 each. You can choose from Raspberry Eton Mess – which has a lovely fruity acidic edge, the salted caramel egg and the seriously dark wrap egg. I’m sure in past years they had five or six different flavours of them available, but this year there only seems to be the three.
Pretty Easter Eggs
At Â£8 they do some gorgeous looking small eggs, but the problem is that they are just 60g in weight. On the up side they are good quality eggs. You can choose a lovely 70% dark chocolate one with two ‘super fine’ gianduja pralines’ in the middle. Whilst you can get a milk chocolate version with pink Champagne truffle in the centre. At Â£8 for the chocolate it then it may be a touch expensive, but they do come wonderfully presented in a gorgeous box topped with a ribbon. These would be perfect for people that want a modern twist on the class Easter egg but don’t wish to spend too much.
Cute Easter Gift Box For Children
For Christmas they did something similar to this Chicken coup in the form of a cute one of the Santa House, for Easter they’ve come up with the wonderful idea of designing a box made to look like a chicken coup which they’ve put fifteen of those nibbling chickens and bunnies in – all in milk chocolate. For Â£9 you’re looking at 60p each which is the price of a chocolate bar that would weigh about four times as much. But these are redoubtably more fun than any bar of confectionery.
Â£10 – Â£20
Easter Gift Box
The Hotel Chocolat H Boxes I think were new in early 2011 and are seemingly popular. They’re essentially a selection of those egglets but in their full variety of flavours including raspberry, lemon, caramel and pralines. You’ve seriously got to love these filled mini eggs to buy this box. It’s priced at Â£12 and you get fifteen of the eggs so that works out at 80p each.
Some More Novelty Easter Chocolates
If you’d like something completely original you could go for the Egg & Chips which is a beautifully designed box containing eight milk chocolate chips filled with praline and a white chocolate egg with the yolk being made of a creamy soft caramel concoction. There’s no weight specified but for your Â£12 I’d say you get a very interesting and original chocolate gift.
Beautiful Easter Gift Bag
For those of you who like gift bags containing a variety of chocolates then perhaps you should go for the Pick Me Up Gift Bag? It contains two small, hollow eggs; some of those Tiddly Chicks and a container of six Mango CrÃ¨me BrÃ»lÃ©e Mini Eggs. For my mind it’s slightly over-priced, but by the same token itâ€™s a very convenient way of giving the Easter.
Cute Easter Eggs For Kids
When it comes to small eggs for children the Flutterby and Rocket eggs are undoubtedly created with offering boys and girls something more relevant to their gender. The Easter egg in the pink box contains a small, hollow 40% milk chocolate egg with a fairy printed on it and a fairly milk chocolate lolly. Whilst the blog box transforms into a rocket and contains the same 40% milk chocolate egg, but instead it has a robot design printed and a Nibbletron robot lolly. For Â£12 it’s difficult to say if it’s good value for money as they are no dimensions on offer on the Hotel Chocolat website.
Large Keep-Sake Tin
If you liked the idea of the small keep-sake tins that were cheaply priced, you’ll love this larger one which contains eleven of those egglets of varying flavours. There are no actual size dimensions available other than that it weighs 130g, but I’d say this is good value for money!
Medium Sized Easter Eggs
At the Â£15 mark we start to get on to the normal sized Easter eggs. But there’s nothing usual about the designs this year as they’ve gone down the animal print route with either milk or white chocolate Easter eggs available in both cow and zebra prints and filled with yet more of those praline and caramel-filled mini eggs.
Â£20 – Â£30
Loads Of Filled Mini Eggs
If you really couldn’t handle an Easter without those ubiquitous egglets you can buy them within a more traditional selection box format which contains thirty of them in a variety of flavours.
Luxury Easter Egg Hunt Kit
For those of you who are organising an Easter egg hunt you might like to get their Easter Egg Hunt Game which contains five of those foil-wrapped mini eggs, twenty milk and dark chocolate eggs (in total) and ten Easter clue arrows to help your children find the goodies. They all come presented in a colourful cardboard carrier which is adorned with some white ribbon. For Â£22 I’d probably say that this is good value for money.
Rocky Road to Caramel
At Â£26 many might think that these luxury Easter eggs are a bit expensive, and for those of you who buy one every you’re probably well aware that since 2008 they have gone up in price by Â£6 from Â£20. But it might be a touch unfair as I don’t know if the actual size of these eggs has changed over the years. What I do know is that this year instead of the cuboid box that I loved you get a cylindrical container that looks reminiscent of a hat container. Perhaps is actually a good time to refresh the design, but I hope they haven’t changed the recipe!
You do get a range of bon bons inside including pralines, liquid caramels, ganaches etc. They’re all alcohol free and suitable for vegetarians. In total they weigh 500g so you do get a lot of chocolate for your money. I’ve reviewed the 2010 version of the Rocky Road to Caramel which you’re welcome to read.
Seriously Dark Fix
For those of you who might feel the Rocky Road to Caramellow is a touch rich and milky for you, Hotel Chocolat do one for Dark Chocolate lovers which they call the Serious Dark Fixâ„¢ Extra Thick Egg. For the same Â£26 as that one you actually only get 360g of chocolate rather than 500g. You do, obviously, get chocolate that you’ll prefer. I do really like their house 70% dark chocolate and if you’re a fan of the slightly acidic flavour of cacao nibs then you’d be pleased to know that one half of the egg shell is studded with them.
Inside, of course, you get a range of dark chocolates, some with rum, chilli and raspberry liqueur. As you can appreciate, this Easter egg probably isn’t one for children, but it is suitable for vegetarians.
The Eggsibitionist – Extra Thick Easter Egg
For over a decade Hotel Chocolat have been making extra thick Easter eggs such as the Eggsibitionist and they most probably keep making them because they’re incredibly popular. And itâ€™s no wonder why – people have fallen in love with the very thick, almost over the top, shells. I’ve had a good many of their Easter eggs from this range and I know how long they take to eat – I doubt anybody could realistically consume a whole one in anything less than two hours.
The mini eggs are back with this egg however. But you do get twelve with various alcohol free fillings so if you’d like a milk chocolate Easter egg with a variety of flavours then this could be a good choice for you. It is, however, still Â£26.
You Crack Me Up – Luxury Easter Eggs For Kids
If you just have to give your children some great, thick Easter eggs that taste much, much better than the ones that you could find in the supermarkets then I’d really have to recommend these You Crack Me Up extra thick Easter eggs. I know many parents would flinch at paying Â£26 for one egg, but itâ€™s actually like buying three or four. You do get less chocolate than some of the others as it “only” weigh 380g, but the chocolates inside the egg are happy chicks, smiley face pralines, soldiers and Easter bunnies.
Your Eggscellency – Luxury Easter Eggs For Kids
The Your Eggscellencyâ„¢ egg is one of the smaller extra thick Easter eggs they make as it weighs 370g but still costs Â£26. But the positive aspect of this egg is that you get half a 40% milk chocolate shell and a half of a 70% dark chocolate shell. So this might be a good way of getting an Easter egg for a couple to share. Inside you’ll get twelve chocolates, they do contain alcohol however, but they are suitable for vegetarians.
On a separate page I’ll have a look at the Hotel Chocolat Easter hampers and some Expensive Hotel Chocolat Easter eggs.