Originally posted by Chrissie
Has anyone tried any of the new Hotel Chocolat ‘The Purist’ line of single estate and single origin chocolate bars?
I didn’t know that Hotel Chocolat produced their own bean to bar single origin chocolate until I was having a look at this years World Chocolate Awards where it appears the Rabot Estate 72% from the line received a bronze award.
Hotel Chocolat isn’t making their own: they’re sourcing it from Coppeneur (http://www.coppeneur.de). If you look at the fine print on the label you will find this mentioned (actually, it’s refreshing to see someone mention their sources at all).
It looks like they won’t be available to order until next week
They are already in the shop here in Manchester, and have been since mid-November. If you have a shop anywhere close to you, pop in and you might be able to pick some up.
I’m most interested in the high cocoa milk chocolate bars since … dare I say it, Cluizels Mangaro Lait isn’t quite strong enough for me.
The Slitti Lattenero series are actually the strongest milk chocolates, topping out at 70%. As one might expect, the 62% and the 70% are considerably better than the 51% and the 45%. I give the nod to Cluizel though because of extraordinary balance while maintaining good distinctive flavour characteristics.
If anyone knows anything about any of these bars by Hotel Chocolat then please let me know. …
Hotel Chocolat/Coppeneur’s style is VERY distinctive. It’s wildly different from other manufacturers, and has a very pronounced earthy/chestnut character across the range. Sometimes this is successful, other times it just doesn’t work. For instance, the Ocumare bean, already a pretty earthy varietal, manages to taste almost exactly like humus mixed with cardboard when you add this stylistic slant. The Tsachila by contrast is quite good, although as I noted earlier Felchlin’s Cru Sauvage is a better version of a “wild” cacao. I agree with the bronze award overall – indicating promise but also some definite areas to work on. Bronze tends to indicate something that carries a bit of an “experimental” character – read: challenging tastes that will take you aback initially. So when you try them I think they will be very much hit and miss. Still, I would recommend you get the complete package “The Purist’s Library” because it’s a journey worth taking too see just how far the boundaries of chocolate can be pushed.
One note for Hotel Chocolat: Ditch that plastic inner wrapper! It’s not only plastic, but one of the smellier ones – i.e. lots of noticeable outgassing. Be sure to let your bar sit in the air for a good 30 minutes or so before trying it.
One other note: I wish that in their truffles and boxed chocolates they’d get rid of the alcohol. All of the “pure” truffles have some alcohol in them – probably to improve shelf life. IMHO a pure chocolate truffle should not have alcohol – it distracts from the chocolate flavour. It’s fine to have liqueur-flavoured truffles, but please for the main chocolates don’t include them. A token selection of “alcohol free” chocolates, none of which is a pure chocolate truffle, is not a substitute for alcohol-free truffles, and it makes them seem as though they’re just being condescending to those who don’t take alcohol by offering such a range.