In this article:
- Hotel Chocolat 10-Second Dunking Biscuit Selection Box Review
- Where to Buy Online
If you're like me, you like to have something to hand when sipping on a steaming mug of hot chocolate. The nation fiercely debates which type of biscuit is best for dunking. Is it the humble Digestive biscuit, a Rich Tea, or even a Hob Nob?
Hotel Chocolat identified one big flaw in the design of pretty much most biscuits when dunking them in hot beverages - durability, or lack thereof. Regular biscuits just aren't up to the job, with unpredictable results. Nobody wants to lose a soggy biscuit to the murky depths of a mug of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. It's a good way to ruin your mood and an otherwise good drink.
Their solution? Chunky biscotti. That extra thickness, together with a twice baked recipe, means these biscuits should withstand the longest dunk. How long? Ten---very---long seconds. It sounds unbelievable, right?
While shopping in the Bridgend Designer Outlet store, I spotted a box of these biscuits on a half-price offer, so thought I'd test out Hotel Chocolat's claim.
The outer box is pretty sizeable, and while it's true it could be reduced slightly to use less card, it does the job of looking gift-worthy. Take this around to friends and family for a coffee morning and you'll be everyone's favourite guest.
The front of the box contains the Hotel Chocolat logo, the product name, and the biscuit flavours (see below). There's also graphics of the biscuits being dunked in a cup of hot chocolate and latte.
The side of the box explains the reason this product exists, along with an explanation that 'bis' is Latin for twice, and 'cotto' means cooked, hence biscotti is a twice-cooked biscuit. Every day's a school day.
The opposite edge of the box lists the components of each biscotti.
The rear of the box contains illustrations of the five varieties of biscuit, along with the ingredients and nutritional information.
Hotel Chocolat 10-Second Dunking Biscuit Selection Box ingredients:
Self-raising flour (wheat flour (wheat flour, calcium, iron, niacin, thiamin), raising agents (disodium diphosphate, sodium hydrogen carbonate, mono-calcium phosphate)), sugar, free-range egg, salted butter, cocoa solids (cocoa mass, cocoa butter), pecan nuts, pistachio nuts, dried sour cherries (sour cherry, sugar, sunflower oil), almond nuts, molasses, baking powder (leavening agent (mono-calcium phosphate), corn starch, raising agent (sodium bicarbonate)), cocoa powder, vanilla extract, invert sugar syrup, flavourings, maple syrup, cinnamon, ground cardamom, gelling agent (xanthan gum), emulsifier (soya lecithin). Cocoa solids: 70% minimum (dark chocolate).
Remember that these are the total ingredients for all five recipes combined. The recipe contains wheat and tree nut ingredients, and the factory handles sesame and peanuts, so there might be trace amounts of these too.
The biscuits are alcohol-free and suitable for vegetarians.
In terms of calories, each biscotti contains approximately 77 kcals on average, which is pretty reasonable. Plenty of carbs (71.3%) as you'd expect from a wheat biscuit, 9.1% protein, and 33.7% sugars, which again feels pretty respectable.
Hotel Chocolat 10-Second Dunking Biscuit Selection Box Review
Each individual serving is clad in a layer of non-recyclable plastic film, which is disappointing. Fast forward into the not so distant future and it's likely that these will be wrapped in some sort of biodegradable film or paper wrapper in line with Hotel Chocolat's strategy to use 100% recyclable packaging across its range.
More positively, there's two packs of each flavour, meaning you get to relive your favourites a second time, or you can share with somebody special (not just anybody, okay?).
Each chunky biscuit typically comes in at around 18g. Hotel Chocolat would love you to enjoy it with a Velvetised hot chocolate or a latte from their range, but honestly, these biscotti would compliment any hot drink, from builder's tea through to cacao tea, hot chocolate, coffee, mulled wine, and everything in-between.
The biscotti all share the same size and shape, and crumbly quality. Bite into these dry and crumbs go everywhere. Importantly, they all share an unbelievably power to withstand 10 full seconds dunked in a hot beverage. In fact, I chanced it a bit longer and it survived. Granted, the biscotti is very soggy by the end of the 10 seconds (not my cup of tea) but if this is what you like, then you'll be happy to know you won't end up with a lump of biscuit mush at the bottom of your cup.
If, like me, you like your biscuit warmed, with a velvety coating of hot chocolate, then a quick one or two second dunk will suffice to maintain the crunch.
Before I walk you through the varieties inside this box, it's worth mentioning that they all work best with an unflavoured hot chocolate, such as Hotel Chocolat's 50% milk° or 70% dark°. This allows the delicate biscotti flavours unadulterated. I've included some flavour pairing suggestions below should you wish to be more daring!
Hotel Chocolat Orange, Pistachio & Cardamom Biscotti Review
I began with the orange biscuit, and true to form, the aroma is that of orange peel, punctuating a traditional biscotti aroma. There's buttery and nutty notes in the mix, too.
It has a firm texture to the touch, but is soft to bite, and very crumbly.
The orange isn't as dominant in the flavour as the aroma suggests. In fact, it's quite delicate, although not as faint as the cardamom flavour which appears to be missing in action. The pistachio adds a general nuttiness to the background, but doesn't outshine the orange either.
Hotel Chocolat Baked Pecan Biscotti Review
The buttery, rich, fudge and nutty aroma delights the sense, and happily, these notes play out in the taste. In fact, it tastes very much like a decadent sticky toffee pudding, with an abundance of toffee and pecan notes.
Do this one justice by sticking with the milk or dark hot chocolate. If you insist on a flavoured hot chocolate, the Salted Caramel hot chocolate here° should compliment it nicely, as might the Salted Caramel & Clementine hot chocolate here°.
Hotel Chocolat 'Chocolat' Biscotti Review
The dark chocolate aroma reminds me of a triple chocolate chip cookie, and that plays out in the taste too. Nuggets of dark chocolate dot the biscotti, adding a playful texture to the biscuit. This one was a little tougher to bite through, although a slightly longer dunk would fix that.
Being as it's chocolate flavour, this biscuit will pair with any hot chocolate. It might be quite fun dunking this one in a Vanilla White hot chocolate here°, or perhaps a seasonal hot chocolate. I've taste-tested Hotel Chocolat's Christmas hot chocolates here.
Hotel Chocolat Cinnamon, Almond & Cacao Biscotti Review
Cinnamon leads in the aroma, and conjures up vivid imagery of cinnamon swirl cakes (cinnamon rolls) in my mind. The spice takes the starring role in the taste.
I was curious to see how cacao was incorporated into the recipe, but alas, no nibs here. Instead, those dark chocolate chunks from the Chocolat recipe were used here, along with crunchy almonds to add both flavour and texture.
Like the Chocolat recipe, this one's quite firm too, so add a second to the dunk. Dare you push it to 11 seconds?!
Again, plain is best when it comes to hot chocolates, but if you want a flavour, choose something like the Ginger hot chocolate here° or the Salted Caramel hot chocolate here° to play with the cinnamon cake flavour.
Hotel Chocolat Dark Chocolate & Sour Cherry Biscotti Review
I saved the best until last, and will be completely honest - Hotel Chocolat need to sell industrial sized catering boxes of these bad boys.
The black cherry aroma suggests this will be good, and indeed it is. Crunchy chocolate flavours swirl with slightly sour chewy cherries, creating a sinfully delightful black forest flavour.
Play it safe and dunk this in a milk or dark hot chocolate, or max out the cherry vibes by dunking it in a Black Forest hot chocolate here°. Truly heavenly.
Hotel Chocolat 10-Second Dunking Biscuit Selection Box Review
RRP: £8.00 | Hotel Chocolat | Shop now°
Two helpings of five varieties of extra thick flavoured biscotti makes this an ideal coffee morning essential, or a thoughtful gift for the coffee or hot chocolate addict in your life. There's a good selection of flavours here, and most importantly, they're able to withstand a full 10 seconds of dunking, if that's your thing. These delicious bites are delightful. It's just a shame there's only 10 of them in a box!
Where to Buy Online
You can get your own box of ten 10-second dunking biscuits here° (£8; 182g).
Truth be told, I was on the hunt for the "Biscuits of the Gods", the Chocolat Shortbreads (£25; 510g°) but these weren't available in-store when I visited, so the dunking biscuits were the next best thing. I wasn't disappointed by the dunkers, so imagine the shortbreads are sublime.
Hotel Chocolat Hazelnut Hot Chocolate for Velvetiser (Pack of 20 Single Serves)
Anything with sugar as the first ingredient is confectionary, not chocolate.
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser Hot Chocolate Machine Complete Starter Kit, White
TEMPERATURE TECHNOLOGY. EASY CLEANING. Pour in water and a drop of washing-up liquid, press the button, and let the Velvetiser do the hard work for you. A non-stick coating and removable, dishwasher-safe whisk makes cleaning effortless.
£151.60 + £4.99 postage
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser Hot Chocolate Maker Complete Starter Kit Copper Finish
This chic drinking chocolate machine creates barista-grade hot chocolate, made with real grated chocolate flakes, in just 2.5 minutes. Simply plug in your Velvetiser, choose your chocolate and your milk - dairy or plant-based or even water if you prefer- and press the button.
HOTEL CHOCOLAT HC01 Velvetiser Hot Chocolate Machine - Charcoal
Easy Cleaning - Pour in water and a drop of washing-up liquid, press the button and let the Velvetiser™ do the hard work for you. A non-stick coating and removable, dishwasher-safe whisk makes cleaning effortless.
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser Hot Chocolate Machine - Charcoal
Indulge in a luxurious hot chocolate experience with the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser. This sleek and shiny machine is designed specifically for creating rich and creamy hot chocolate, using any type of ground chocolate and milk of your choice. With a water tank capacity of 200 ml and powered by a 500 W battery, you can enjoy your favourite hot chocolate anywhere, anytime.The Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser is made from high-quality plastic, with a grey colour finish that will complement any kitchen decor. This hot chocolate machine is easy to use and maintain, making it perfect for busy individuals who want to enjoy a decadent treat without the hassle. Get yours today and elevate your hot chocolate game to the next level.
£55.00 + £6.29 postage
Which of the five flavours would you dunk first? Let me know in a comment below.