Heaven is being sent chocolates in the post!
Christmas is fast appearing on the horizon and I’ve started to think about the little treats that make Christmas so delightful in our house. A couple of years ago, Christmas changed quite a lot and as such, we’ve started to make new traditions and the real emphasis in our home at Christmas is on plenty of delicious treats at any given time and the number of champagne bottles chilling outside the backdoor! Our very kind neighbour usually starts the day off by posting his home-smoked salmon through the letterbox and we have glasses of champagne and little canapes and nuts and sweets throughout the day. I’m always on the look out for sweets and nuts and other things we can nibble while the goose is in the oven.
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to review a product from Hotel Chocolat and while normally I don’t really do product reviews, we were just contemplating whether to do away with the annual Christmas Quality Street tin in our house in favour of something new-fangled and exciting from Hotel Chocolat so this seemed like an excellent opportunity to research this!
So I perused the website, selected my item and then the long wait for it to arrive began! This isn’t to say they take a long time to deliver but it feels like forever when you’re waiting for chocolate to arrive! The website is well laid out and you can search by occasion, by person, by product or even by genre. There’s a wonderful selection of Christmas items and I genuinely struggled to choose. I like the look of the alternative mince pies and there’s lots of fun and kitsch treats for children. Prices for the Christmas selection range from £5 to £200 for a huge hamper and there are as many exciting looking things as glamorous items.
Then, last week when I was knee deep in my essay, I walked into the kitchen and there was a slim package for me from Hotel Chocolat. A word about the packaging as we are here for serious reasons beyond my delighting in trying chocolates for a living; the package was slim enough to slide through the letterbox and was safely and neatly packed. I wouldn’t worry at all that if I were to send something to someone, it would arrive in any condition but perfect.
So the chocolates had arrived, Hurrah! I don’t think I’ve ever ripped any parcel open so fast and within the box glistened my lovely Chocolate Wreath (£19): http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/top-christmas-gift-P300214/
I chose the Christmas Wreath as this is something that I would really consider giving to someone, I loved the idea of the traditional wreath and the symbol of christmas and it sounded like something we would really enjoy in our house.
It was at this point that I lamented having never bought a hammer with the express use of smashing chocolate to smithereens but Pat suggested that I throw it on the floor (in its packaging) and this was a brilliant plan as it broke into brilliantly sized shards which could then be tipped on to a plate. It’s nearly a pound, in weight, of chocolate which is quite hefty. I took the plate around everyone and we tucked in. The wreath is a combination of dark and milk chocolate, studded with cookie pieces, dried cranberries and caramelised hazelnuts.
Now, the most important part is the chocolate and this is where Hotel Chocolat excel. The chocolate is thick and creamy, it tastes expensive and is thick and rich so that you feel like you only need a small piece. The dried cranberries give a real freshness to the chocolate and the crunch of the cookies (dark and chocolatey like an Oreo) is the perfect contrast in texture. The caramelised hazelnuts also give a great contrast and stop it from being too sickly. It really is unbelievably delicious and I can’t really say more than that I beseech you to buy one for your family this Christmas time. My mother kept wandering past every couple of minutes with differing adjectives such as ‘unctuous’ and ‘rich’ but mostly to grab another piece! It’s also great value at £19, while it seems a lot, it’s an enormous piece of chocolate and would be lovely hanging from the tree. Similarly, they make a mini wreath so you could have more than one hanging on the tree. I would definitely be popping in for a mulled wine and mince pie if I thought you did!
And what’s more, Hotel Chocolat have very kindly given me an extra Christmas Wreath to give away which could be yours to eat as soon as it arrives or save for Christmas day.
To enter, simply leave a comment below, in the comments box, telling me what Christmas treat you’re most looking forward to this year.
The winner will be chosen at random and the closing date is midnight on November 20th. Please make sure you leave an email address or your blog address so that I can contact you if you win.
To get another entry for free, Tweet the phrase “Just entered @girlwoodenspoon’s competition to win @hotelchocolat treat. Visit https://thegirlwiththewoodenspoon.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/hotel-chocolat/. Pls RT”. and leave a comment to let me know you have.