Okay we are really past Easter now but I've always been one to hoard my Easter eggs and eke them out over a longer period rather than demolish them over the Easter weekend. I was really lucky to receive one of the new 100% cocoa Easter eggs from Hotel Chocolat. This is a pretty unique offering being the only Easter egg I've ever seen that is sugar and sweetener free plus it's pure 100% cocoa status. Those who don't like dark chocolate look away now.
I don't eat milk chocolate these days and 70% dark chocolate is my minimum with 85% being my preferred. I've enjoyed Lindt's 90% bar before but never ventured beyond that. Is a completely unsweetened dark chocolate going to be too much.
Like all Hotel Chocolat products, it looks premium, beautifully packaged and very sleek. Inside you get the 100% cocoa egg which is studded on the inside with raisins and roasted almonds and you also get a little tray of hazelnuts panned in 100% St Lucian cocoa as well. This egg picked up a lot of press attention as its dairy free, sugar free and suitable for vegans but does it taste any good.
Like I said those who don't like dark chocolate will in all honesty not like this at all and even 70% aficiandos might find it difficult to stomach. It's really quite earthy and the lack of sweetness is really noticeable. It's a raw intense deep and slightly dry taste from the St Lucian chocolate. It's very pure but also quite a complex flavour. I could get hints of slight earthy fruitiness within it and I can understand how chocolate experts can really compare and notice the subtleties like a fine wine. It's got a hint of maltiness and taste utterly different to any chocolate I've had before.
However, as said the lack of sweetness is very noticeable. When you eat it with the studded raisins in that natural sweetness for me is enough to elevate it but the bites without although very tasty don't feel as much of pleasure as 70-90% chocolate. I still enjoyed it however and I think it is all about how you train your palate and reliance on sugar. As I've eaten this more over a few days I've liked it more. The roasted almonds add crunch and the raisins sweet chewiness. I remember when I found 70% chocolate just right and 90% too earthy but now I find 70% a little sweet so it's all taste perception.
No, I don't quite like this as much as 85% and 90% chocolate but I did like it and would like to have one of these again next year. However I'll stick to dark chocolate with a little sugar.
Bought at: Hotel Chocolat