Saturday, 19 February 2011

Eggs and Soldiers Classic - Hotel Chocolat

Having not visited the Hotel Chocolat store in Moorgate for a few weeks I thought I'd be in for a surprise but on entering the store I have to say I was a bit disappointed. 


Hotel Chocolat stores are very well laid out with plenty of room to walk about and browse the chocolate adorned shelves but they lack a bit of charisma. The employees, all dressed in black, are willing enough and within two minutes of entering the store a member of staff is offering up a platter of chocolate buttons to taste. But before you can ask them anything about the chocolate they quickly scurry away back to the safety of the till with their colleagues. This is a shame as other Chocolatiers are always willing to provide information about their chocolate. They need to make more of their customer service and I felt there was no wow factor. They have plenty of choice but it's just plonked on the shelf and I'm sorry mate but you're on your own, spend the cash and move on out! This is not the fault of the team as they were very pleasant and courteous. They just didn't engage. Maybe I just frightened them, yeah right. Oh well enough of my retail ruminations lets look at what I did buy.

There ain't no body here but..
Even though I was a little under whelmed by the offerings I did find something I wanted. Well I'm not sure it's what I wanted but it instantly reminded me of my early youth. Eggs and Soldiers! As a young boy I was fed a daily ration of boiled eggs, soldiers and baked beans. Not necessarily at the same meal but these evening suppers seemed to appear on alternate days throughout the week. My mum was one of the few working mums in the early 70's and was always up to her neck in course work. God only knows how my internal organs stood up to this daily battering of eggs and baked beans. Anyway enough discussion about digestive systems lets move back to the chocolate....

The Packaging: Hotel Chocolat, love em or hate em, they have a great marketing department and they must spend zillions on packaging and customer research which just goes to show how easily manipulated I am by a bit of coloured cardboard. 

The Chocolate: The box contains 5 mellow praline milk chocolate half eggs, topped with a white chocolate fried egg. Accompanied by a troop of creamy white chocolate dipping soldiers. First to be gobbled up is the egg which is made of milk chocolate (40% cocoa solids) it is fairly sweet. The addition of hazelnut (praline) helps to overcome the sweetness. The egg yolk made of white chocolate coloured with curcumin and paprika imparts no flavour but adds to the overall image. The soldiers made of white chocolate (28% cocoa solids) with a bit of curcumin and paprika colouring at the tip of each again adds to the fun. The white chocolate is not overpoweringly sweet and there is no nasty after taste that you sometimes get with white chocolate.


To take this to the next level I recommend that you eat this with a little bit of crushed Maldon Salt and freshly milled black pepper. You don't need much just a little sprinkling of each. Place a yolk in your mouth and shut your eyes. The effect is amazing! For a few seconds you actually feel as though you are eating a boiled egg. Take my word for it this is delicious....


Overall I give this little chocolate assortment 9/10 for fun value and for £7.00 it will make a fun present for somebody. To buy on-line dip your little soldier here!

This post was written by Richard.