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It seems the country is awash with “pile them high and sell them cheap” Easter eggs and there aren’t enough top quality, dark chocolate Easter eggs around. Thankfully we have Hotel Chocolat to help us out. And they certainly do provide a cracking (no pun intended Easter egg) in the form of this Purist version which comes in the form of two halves. One of them is made from 65% dark chocolate from their Rabot Estate plantation in Saint Lucia, whilst the other comes from one of the world’s greatest sources of cacao – Chuao in Venezuela.
But let’s back up a little bit. To my mind Hotel Chocolat produce the best looking Easter egg packaging in the country – well for a volume chocolatier anyway. Obviously Easter eggs are gifts and they tick the “would it look great as a present” box with a big thick pen. What’s more, they’re also very much geared up for chocolate gifts delivered by post where you won’t actually give the Easter egg to your loved-one or friend, but send it through the post as you can write a gift message that’ll get printed and sent on the packaging.
Another feature I love about most of the Hotel Chocolat Easter eggs is that they’re often covered in thick foil which is a world apart from that thin stuff that most companies supply. The Hotel Chocolat foil offers more of a Rolls Royce fell to NestlÃ©â€™s Trabant. Also what I love is with so many Easter eggs the chocolates contained inside are just housed in a horrible plastic bag – here they come in some white nice tissue paper. This attention to detail makes such as huge difference.
But back to the taste. You really have to be in to dark chocolate to enjoy this – it stands to reason. The thing is that most dark chocolate doesn’t have that slightly balsamic flavour that is represented in the 75% Rabot Estate half. There’s a definite “quality” edge to it, but still itâ€™s a touch muted compared to the tablettes of chocolate you’ll buy from them – or is it just me?
The Chuao half takes it to a different level completely. I gain, I think the flavour comes out more in block form, but this is a much more bitter experience. If you’re tempted to buy this Easter egg for a friend or relative it’d be a good idea to double check they like real dark chocolate as itâ€™s a world away from the mass market stuff you’ve probably tried in the past – this is no Lindt or Green & Blacks.
And on to the pralines inside. You’ll get ten of them, but please don’t eat them, send them on to me instead as I adored them. They’re a nice mellow point in the experience with its smooth creaminess that is a perfect distract whilst you prepare yourself for some more of the bitter stuff. It’s ingenious to combine the two as it’d be too easy to have accompanied the egg with some bon bons that were similarly intense.
Overall, I loved this large Easter egg. The price at Â£30 may be steep, but please do remember that the price of quality cacao has shot up over the past year, and the raw ingredients just arenâ€™t as cheap as they used to be. You wonâ€™t get a Rolls Royce for the price of a Nissan Micra would you?