I love a good helping of hot chocolate. It's like a hug in a mug, especially on a cold autumnal evening. When I'm not sipping on hot chocolate made with couverture chocolate, I'm on the look out for flavoured hot chocolate that's interesting and a bit different.
While browsing the shelves of my local Whittard of Chelsea store, I clocked a very colourful purple drum of white chocolate powder called Mumbai Spice. This limited edition tub, blending turmeric and cinnamon, stood out against all the others and sounded most unusual. £9 lighter, I took the 350g tub of hot chocolate powder home to review.
The drum packaging used for the limited edition Mumbai Spice White Hot Chocolate followed the same specification as others in the standard hot chocolate line-up - a 350g capacity tall cylindrical cardboard tub with metal base and plastic lid. The premium blends in the range tend to come in smaller tubs and in metal tins not drums.
Wrapped around the facing side was a very colourful piece of artwork in a colour palette of purples, yellows, and oranges. The art included lots of detail, with elephants and flowers taking pride of place.
On the purple toned rear, I found the ingredients list as well as nutritional information in both English and French:
Whittard Mumbai Spice White Hot Chocolate ingredients:
Sugar, cocoa butter (14%), skimmed milk powder, whey powder (milk), dextrose, ground turmeric (1.8%), ground cinnamon (1.8%), salt, emulsifier: E450 (Diphosphates), flavouring.
The lead ingredient was sugar, but even so, it was still surprising to see sugars making up an eye-watering 74% of this particular hot chocolate powder blend.
The metal seal was recyclable, the plastic lid was recyclable in some areas, but the mixed-material drum was not easily recyclable.
Whittard Mumbai Spice White Hot Chocolate Review
I lifted off the plastic lid and peeled back the foil seal to reveal a wonderfully sweet aroma of turmeric and cinnamon. Almost festive in nature, the pungent fragrance was vibrant and spicy.
Unsurprisingly for a product that contained a mere 14% cocoa butter, there wasn't any chocolate fragrance that came through. The sweetness and the spices were the only notes to materialise.
Each recommended portion size was 20g of powder blended with 200ml of milk. I managed to eke 18 portions out of my tub, equating to £0.50 a pop (plus the cost of the milk).
The powder was quite coarse, and it easily clumped in the tub, most noticeably a couple of weeks after opened. It took a lot of effort to rid my cannister of lumps, which proved to be a futile effort in the end.
The coarse texture made it a pain to make the hot chocolate too, as it didn't easily mix with semi-skimmed milk. I tried various methods of making hot chocolate including cheating with the microwave (don't do it kids). Making it as directed on the tub led to a lumpy drinking consistency too.
The method I settled upon was making it in a saucepan with a whisk. Continual stirring (and I do mean non-stop) managed to rid my hot chocolate of most lumps. However, moments after pouring, the hot chocolate split, with a yellow band of clumps floating to the top.
The cinnamon dominated the taste of the Mumbai Spice White Hot Chocolate, while the turmeric did a great job of turning everything yellow (including my whisk).
The spiciness of the aroma didn't follow through in the taste, which was a shame as I would have liked a little kick there. Nevertheless, it was a really nice flavour. The white chocolate base was completely dwarfed by the spices used, and a dark or milk chocolate base might have added a more robust dimension to the overall profile.
The spices had a tendency to clump in the mug, meaning each sip was lumpy in texture. I would like to see a finer blend to see if that resolves the issue without diminishing the flavour.
Overall, I loved the packaging and very much enjoyed the flavour combination of turmeric and cinnamon. The overly-sweet white chocolate base was weak, which let it down for me. I also didn't like the clumpy nature of the sugar-laden powder in the tub, when making the hot chocolate, or while drinking it. If the powder was finer, and the base was a more flavourful milk or dark chocolate instead, I think this could be more enjoyable.
Whittard Mumbai Spice White Hot Chocolate Review
RRP: £9.00 | Whittard of Chelsea | Shop now°
A warming combination of turmeric and cinnamon with a white chocolate base, all inside a beautifully decorated tub. It's very sweet, lacks cocoa flavours, and is grainy to taste.
Where to Buy Online
The limited edition Mumbai Spice White Hot Chocolate appears to be a seasonal line that is available in the winter months. Check online to see if it is currently available.
You can find Whittard's selection of hot chocolate drums online
I've also found it listed on° Amazon too, should Whittard's not stock it right now.
Do you prefer classic hot chocolate or flavoured hot chocolate? Let me know in the comments below.