Ok, I have something to confess: when it comes to desserts and baked goods I prefer anything fruity or flowery. When eating out at restaurants, I’m always the person who passes up on the chocolate dessert for the lemon dessert, the crème brulée, the rose macaron, or the caramel mille-feuille. I think this is due to the fact that as a child I would devour anything and everything that had chocolate in it. I exclusively ate chocolate ice cream for most of my childhood.
But when it comes to eating actual chocolate: bon bons, truffles, and bars, I swoon and fall in love with all flavors. I like all kinds of chocolate: dark, milk, caramel, nut, coffee, coconut… I think that there is nothing better than a smooth piece of chocolate slowly melting in your mouth. I’m always looking for brands of chocolate that will satisfy my cravings for that one perfect bite of creamy chocolate. I buy a box of chocolates and keep it hidden in my nightstand, where no one will discover it (I guess the secret is out now!).
So when I was given the chance to sample some Hotel Chocolat chocolates from their Christmas Gift Collection , I immediately said yes! yes! yes! and did a happy dance. Hotel Chocolat is a company based in Britain. They recently opened stores in Boston, MA, they have their own cocoa plantation, Rabot Estate in St Lucia, where they will soon be opening a hotel. The christmas gift collection includes Stocking Fillers, Christmas Gifts for Kids, and Unique Chocolate Gifts.
You see, I discovered Hotel Chocolat on a trip to London. I visited one of their stores and stocked up on pink champagne truffles, and chocolate bars. I adore the Eaton Mess Bar a strawberry & vanilla flavored chocolate bar with pieces of cookies, meringue, and strawberry, that comes in giant slab form.
I received these super cute caramel milk chocolate angels and a festive milk chocolate wreath from the Christmas Collection.
The milk chocolate wreath has pieces of florentines, cocoa cookies, shortbread cookies and white chocolate chunks. The milk chocolate is smooth and all the delicious chunks provide a satisfying crunch.
Now for the giveaway:
One lucky reader will win this gorgeous Holiday Collection to be delivered to one US based address. The collection includes a fruit-and-nut wreath, gingerbread-spiced chocolate puddles, chili-infused dark chocolate penguins, and a box of filled chocolates. The giveaway ends on Saturday November 20th at midnight EST. The winner will be randomly selected and notified via email or twitter.
To win, leave a comment on this blog post, and for extra entries do one or all of the following:
1.Follow me on twitter and re-tweet this: RT @onevanillabean A Confession, Rocky Road Brownies & a #HotelChocolat Giveaway! http://bit.ly/cNQDAH
2.Go to the Hotel Chocolat Facebook page and like it. Leave a comment here saying you liked the Hotel Chocolat Facebook page.
3.Leave a comment on this blog post with a link to a product from the Hotel Chocolat website that catches your eye.
If you do all, you will get four entries.
These brownies have a crisp crust on top, are gorgeously gooey on the inside, and are studded with marshmallows.
3 ounces Hotel Chocolat Liquid Chocolat, or chopped dark chocolate for melting
5 ounces Unsalted butter
4 ounces Plain Flour
3 Large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces granulated sugar
3 ounces Hotel Chocolat Liquid Chocolat, or chopped dark chocolate for adding into batter
3 ounces nuts
1 cup mini marshmallows
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.
2. Mix 3 ounces of Liquid Chocolat and the butter in a heat-proof bowl. Gently heat the bowl over a double-boiler and stir until the butter and chocolate have completely melted . Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Sift the flour into a bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Then whisk in the sugar.
5. Add the egg mixture to the melted butter and melted chocolate. Next, add the flour and the remaining 3 ounces of Liquid Chocolat. Mix until smooth. Fold in the nuts.
6. Pour into the prepared pan. Push the marshmallows into the batter.
7. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the marshmallows are golden brown. Once ready, a knife inserted into the center of the pan will still have a small amount of batter on it.
8. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Then cut into squares and serve warm.