Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Alternative Mince Pies (Hotel Chocolat) [By @Cinabar]




I have to say this product has an odd name. These chocolates are called Alternative Mince Pies yet contain no mincemeat, or even pastry for that matter. They do look a little like mince pies but they are notably smaller than you'd expect too. In conclusion there isn’t much similarity, so it seems to be that the name is more literal in that they are an alternative treat to have with coffee than a twist on the original idea. When I first saw them I had hoped for a special chocolate and mincemeat concoction, which I think could work if blended well, particularly if Hotel Chocolat were involved. Perhaps next year – if we cross our fingers?
Let’s focus on what we do have here, which are six chocolates neatly presented in a sweet box . There are two varieties of chocolate (milk/dark), both with a nice thick amount of caramel and a good hit of praline. The milk chocolate is sweet and had a lovely strong chocolate flavour. The dark chocolate added that extra bit of richness, and was a perfect accompaniment to the filling.
The soft caramel was thick, but still pleasingly wet and runny, and the textures were lovely with the chocolate shell. I loved breaking through the chocolate to reveal the gooey centre. The caramel was sweet, with hints of brown sugar and had a subtle salty edge to complete the taste. The praline was lovely and nutty and worked perfectly with the chocolate base taste. The chocolates were delicious, and offered a lovely chocolaty treat.
I felt that the flavours worked well, and both the milk and dark chocolate shone through with exceptional flavour. These would be perfect served with coffee after dinner during the Christmas season, but I’d still keep a box of real mince pies in the cupboard, to have with custard! ;-)
By Cinabar