Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hotel Chocolat - 40% milk

I discovered Hotel Chocolat during my annual trip to Boston in January. I was hanging out on Newbury Street and wandered into their store, where all the Christmas chocolates were half off! Score!

HC is a British chocolatier who owns their own chocolate plantation in St Lucia. They are committed to ethical farming practices both on their own estate and when dealing with the local cocoa-growing community.

They also claim to use minimal sugar to keep the cocoa front and center in flavor. I was very interested to try this, since I tend to find most British chocolate (such as Cadbury) to be way too sweet. So I was pretty excited when the variety pack I bought included a few pieces of 40% milk chocolate (they also sell 50% and even 60% milk chocolates).

I definitely liked it better than most milk chocolate. It was noticeably less sweet than the average milk, which was a big improvement. Crisper, as well - so much milk chocolate is slightly mushy. The one complaint I had was that it seemed overly creamy. If it were too sweet, I'd call it cloying, and I don't know what the equivalent of "cloying" is for creaminess. But it bordered on cloyingly creamy, whatever the real word is. But I think it's definitely the best milk chocolate I've ever tasted. Even Crimson, who normally hates milk chocolate for its sweetness, thought it was acceptable.

I've tried a few other selections - some hazelnut truffles, and a lovely caramel-flavored 33% milk chocolate. The caramel flavor really offset the creaminess nicely! I can't wait to get my hands on some 60% milk chocolate sometime.