After a pretty rough week, I decided it was time to treat myself. So last Thursday evening I made a stop that I had meant to make for many months. I finally checked into Hotel Chocolat located right on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay. This little store, specializing in all things chocolate opened last fall and has been well acclaimed as having some delicious chocolate creations. Of note, I've heard fantastic reviews of their chocolate pasta, their chili chocolate and their assorted truffles. I was ready for a real indulgence.
Entering the store I was immediately greeted by a very pleasant sales person who offered me a taste of their chocolate to start. I selected a piece of dark chocolate and was impressed by its deep velvety flavor. Strong chocolate, with just a hint of sweet that was perfect. I felt immediately that coming here would absolutely do the trick to reverse a bad mood into a chocolate induced happiness.
I wandered about the store and selected champagne truffles, rum truffles and the much talked about chili chocolate bar. When bought in sets of three they totaled $18, which for gourmet chocolate I felt was somewhat reasonable. I set off with my purchase, excited to try it out as my dessert for the evening.
I reached home, had myself a lovely dinner of leftover pasta, and then turned my attention to the chocolate at hand. I started with a small piece of the chili chocolate. The chocolate had the same wonderful flavor as the piece I tried in the store, however I was disappointed that the chili flavor wasn't as present. It seemed to be a back of the palate heat, which just slightly caught in the throat. Sort of an odd sensation, and a bit disappointing that the flavor wasn't more present.
Next I tried the truffles. Oh my. The flavor that I had felt was missing from the chili chocolate was more than made up for in the truffles. In credibly strong notes of alcohol came through when biting into these truffles, too strong. The champagne truffle had an almost sickly sweet taste to it, as flat champagne would. The rum truffle- well I'm finding them inedible. Though the chocolate casing is delicious, the filling is so abrasive I felt like I was doing a straight shot of rum, and felt all of the grimacing normally experienced with that act. I have completely sworn them off.
Now to be fair, others who have sampled my stash are not quite as put off by them as I have been, and actually have rather enjoyed the flavors present. So a bit of a disclaimer I suppose there. I however, love the pure chocolate at Hotel Chocolat but am now looking for a place to donate my truffles- anyone want them? Or should I just pour you a shot of not so great rum instead?
UPDATE: A Second Look at Hotel Chocolat