Natalie sure sent over quite a bit of chocolate from the UK. Hence it has taken me so long to review all of it. No complaints, just an observation. And a warning that you may be reading about chocolate that you’ll have a hard time getting your hands on if you live in the States.
Example: This Hotel Chocolat Fruit and Nut 40% Cocoa milk chocolate bar, which is only available in Boston, with spotty availability there.
This bar, which includes raisins, cranberries, hazelnuts and almonds, is chock-full of add-ins. As you can see from the bar, these add-ins are not very finely chopped and the nuts are barely roasted. The nearly-raw nuts did not meld very well with the chocolate, and, as they were not chopped, they distracted from the bar a bit.
The bar has a fruity aroma, which is unsurprising, but I was intrigued to find a distinct cherry note, as dried cherries were not part of this bar. However, the dried fruit that was part of the bar was high quality; the cranberries in particular were juicy, tart, and not at all chewy such that they meshed perfectly with the soft milk chocolate.
With all the fruits and nuts included, the bar was a tad light on the chocolate, which had a slow creamy melt and a standard caramel flavor. It meshed well with the tart flavor of the dried fruit, and a bar of the fruit and chocolate would be most enjoyable. With the large pieces of raw nuts added, it was still pleasing but not top-notch.
Do you like fruit or nuts in chocolate? Which do you like better?