Monday, September 5, 2011

Hotel Chocolat: Summer Collection, Part 1

It's Labor Day here in the States. Some people call this the end of summer here. Some lament this end.

These people clearly don’t live in DC. Bring on the fall.

Though I won’t miss days with a heat index exceeding 120° F, I might miss some summer foods. Such as the Hotel Chocolat Summer Desserts collection.

The collection is touted as “a heavenly collection of classic summer desserts – a perfect touch of summer hedonism.”

Also noted on the package is that the truffles inside are all alcohol free. Score. Despite my occasional affinity to baking with tequila thanks to some outside influence, I’m generally not a fan of alcohol heavy treats.

First up, a truffle inspired by a classic ice-cream flavor: the Neapolitan.

The truffle has an aroma of caramel with a hint of berry. The visible milk chocolate couverture, which has a faint creamy flavor and is a bit grainy is extremely thin; a thick layer of white chocolate instead provides the majority of the shell composition. That white chocolate is much smoother than the milk, and is sweet with no distinct standalone flavor.

The bulk of the flavor in this truffle is in the interior, which has a strong strawberry flavor. Though the fruity flavor contrasts well with the sweet couverture, it is a bit thin and buttery for the thick shell, and dissipates long before the shell, which makes it difficult to enjoy all the flavors together. It’s a bit on the sweet side, but is overall a fairly balanced treat.

I was left aching for more berry flavor. I moved along to the summer pudding, which intrigued me with its beautiful fuchsia exterior and strong berry aroma.

The couverture is a smooth, creamy white chocolate covered in a tart layer of what seems to be raspberry powder; this powder adds depth to the sweet white chocolate without drying the couverture. The effect is a perfect contrast of sweet and tart complimented by a creamy melt.

The interior is tart and smooth, with a thick texture that melds perfectly with the soft white chocolate couverture. As a total creation, this piece is wonderfully reminiscent of summer raspberry season, with creamy and tart flavors.

Now I almost miss summer.

No, not really. If I don’t see another 90° F day until June 2012, I’ll be happy.

Are there any summer treats you are going to miss? If it isn’t summer where you are, what summer treats do you already miss?


  1. I definitely can't stand the heat normally either, but now I'm in AC and I wouldn't mind summer continuing:)

  2. Summer is definitely over. It's long sleeve weather again... and the days are shorter again. I love the long days in summer. Too bad they are over now.

  3. These look divine. Crisp air. Bring it.

  4. I wasnt a big fan of the neapolitan but loved the summer berry one yum!

  5. It was quite hot this past weekend, and I was away from home. Sadly, I did not pack for the heat, and was stuck in jeans and t-shirts when I should have been savoring the last of summer dress weather!