This is our pick of some of the wackiest and most unusual chocolate flavours for you to try
Do you have any secret strange food combinations? If the answer is yes, then don’t be ashamed – some of the best culinary creations have stemmed from the minds of foody inventors. At Hotel Chocolat, we like to experiment with flavours by recreating classics such as the Mojito or a Macaroon in chocolate form, allowing you to experience chocolate in a way you’ve never experienced it before.
However, some have pushed their flavour fusions beyond the boundaries – we’ve taken a look at some of the more unusual chocolate flavours for you to try (or not).
What do you think of when you picture lavender? Dinky stuffed bags you find in your grandma’s drawers? Fragrant and soothing hand cream your mum carries in her handbag? How about lavender chocolate – although this might sound like a perfumed mouthful which you’d rather wear than eat, we urge you to try it.
If you get the balance just right, lavender gives off a fragrant and soothing flavour, with subtle floral notes at the back. Lavender tends to work best with dark chocolate, as the deep cocoa notes stop the lavender from being too overpowering.
Chocolatiers Seed and Bean use 72% dark to balance the aromas of French lavender oil, but if you’re not so keen on lavender, we’ve got a good alternative: our Rose & Violet Cremes are a quintessentially British sweet, combining both floral flavours with dark chocolate.
Fancy an evening of junk food, but don’t want to shell out on a pizza? Combine the flavours of chocolate and pizza with this pizza-flavoured chocolate. Designed to look and smell like a block of cheese, this chocolate lets you combine your favourite things in one bite. Of course, we wouldn’t blame you if you’d just rather order a take out – we’d probably do the same.
Chilli and chocolate, but not how you know it. Sushi lovers might want to look out for this one – seriously spicy, but yet pleasantly tasty, wasabi chocolate is perfect for those who like a bit of a kick to their chocolate. Alicja Confections have combined wasabi with 54.4% dark chocolate, so if you want a bit of heat with your cocoa, treat yourself to a bar or two.
If you’re a die-hard sushi fan, then this one’s for you. OK – we admit, the sound of sushi flavoured chocolate sounds pretty unpleasant, but it might not be as off putting as it seems. KitKat have launched sushi inspired chocolate, basing their flavours off sushi, sea urchin and egg.
Don’t worry – the KitKats don’t actually taste like fish and egg. Instead, they’re flavoured with raspberry, melon and mascarpone, and pumpkin pudding to mirror the colours you’d expect find in sushi, whilst making sure there’s nothing fishy about these chocolates.
Unfortunately, these were limited edition, available only in Japan. Whilst you can’t get your hands on them anymore, we wouldn’t suggest doing your own DIY version at home: chocolate and raw fish doesn’t quite sit well with us.
Coffee and chocolate is a classic flavour combination which doesn’t need much persuasion – we’ve got our very own line of chocolate coffee creations so that you can pick the right match, for you. But what about green tea and chocolate?
Although it is still a niche flavour in the UK, green tea flavoured sweet treats are very common in Asian countries, flavouring cakes, cookies and puddings. And, if you think about it, there’s no reason why this combination shouldn’t work – herbal and uplifting notes of green tea pairs particularly well with lighter chocolates.
Nama Chocolate is a vegan Japanese chocolate which uses oat cream and matcha (ground green tea leaves) to create silky white chocolate truffles. It might not be the most healthy way to enjoy this herbal mix, but if you’re a green tea lover then it’s definitely worth a try.
If breakfast is your favourite part of the day, then why not enjoy it in chocolate form? We’re not just talking about a simple croissant, or a bowl of yoghurt and fruit – think pancakes, maple syrup and bacon.
Bacon flavoured chocolate? Sounds wrong, but this crispy, smoky cured meat pairs beautifully with the natural sweetness of maple syrup. Add in the creaminess of chocolate and you’ve got yourself a chocolate bar that we can get behind. Whilst we wouldn’t suggest that you eat this everyday for breakfast, if you’re a true lover of breakfast then this is the perfect bar to snack on throughout the week (or day).
Raspberry and pepper
As surprising as it may sound, strawberry and black pepper is actually a fairly classic flavour combination. Since this peppery, yet fruity, pairing has already earned a reputation, the thought of tart raspberry and slightly warming pepper makes perfect sense.
UK based chocolatier Karmello has combined free-dried raspberries with green peppercorns and milk chocolate to create a balance between sharp and sweet. Less spicy than your typical chilli and chocolate mix, we think raspberry and peppercorn chocolate is the perfect way to introduce some heat into your cocoa.
The Australian doppelganger of Marmite, you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. Combined with chocolate? We can’t quite imagine that we’d love it. However, we can see how the salty, malty notes of vegemite could complement the natural richness of cocoa.
Luckily, this bar isn’t filled with this yeast extract spread in the same way a chocolate caramel would be – instead, it’s more subtly flavoured, resulting in lightly salted and mellow finish. Unfortunately, this chocolate bar is no longer available. However, if you do fancy sampling this chocolate flavour, why not dot a tiny dollop of marmite on your chocolate bar? We suggest a high cocoa milk or our 100% dark chocolate, which has a slightly savoury tang to it, to let the deep and mellow tastes shine through.
Insect covered chocolate
Although we might be squeamish at the thought of eating insects, it’s actually considered a delicacy for some, and for others a vital source of nutrients. According to a 2013 report from the UN, roughly two billion people eat insects as part of a traditional diet.
In fact, although they’re only small, insects can carry a whole bunch of nutrients, with the majority of them being rich in protein, healthy fats, iron and calcium. Whilst we might turn our noses up at them, insects are a vital nutrition source for those in third world countries who suffer from malnourishment.
If you fancy sampling a critter or two, having them coated in chocolate is a good way to make the leap – there are plenty of places to buy them online, whether you’re curious about crickets or interested in scorpions.
Whilst you may be used to seeing Heinz ketchup on the dinner table, how do you feel about it featuring in your chocolate? Fortnum and Mason thought it sounded like a tasty combo, creating Heinz Tomato Ketchup Truffles for Valentine’s Day.
Encased in milk, dark and white chocolate, these chocolates promise the creaminess and richness of cocoa, combined with the tanginess of tomato. If you did fancy sampling a taste, these chocolates were only available for a limited amount of time. Whilst we’re still not 100% convinced that ketchup and chocolate works, we’ll keep our eyes peeled out for the next condiment and chocolate creation.
Although its name sounds unusual, this chocolate flavour actually sounds rather enticing. Part lemon, part lime, Yuzu has a wonderfully fragrant and citrusy flavour. Whilst yuzu is notoriously difficult to find outside of Japan and Korea, you can enjoy its flavour in chocolate form.
If you like the zest of lemon alongside the richness of cocoa, we’ve got the next best thing – our Lemon Caramel Chocolate Selector combines the tartness of lemon with high cocoa dark chocolate for a winning combination.
Another one for lovers of spice – this chocolate flavour takes a much-loved condiment and combines it with cocoa for a hot spice that slowly radiates across your tongue. If the idea of sriracha flavoured chocolate is too unusual for you, we’ve got a lighter option: our Chilli Chocolate Box offers a gentle heat, resulting in the perfect tingle on your tastebuds.
Japan seems to be the Queen of unusual chocolate flavours, with potato flavoured KitKats definitely being up there with one of the strangest confectionaries we’ve come across so far. Although it seems strange to us, it’s not the first time this starchy vegetable and the cocoa bean have joined forces – in 2016 McDonald’s introduced chocolate covered fries to Japan.
While we’re still not convinced that the potato and chocolate flavour is a winner, we can understand the salty and sweet sentiment: our Salted Dark Chocolate Slab won the Great Taste Awards.
Cheese and onion crisps
You might enjoy a packet of them alongside a sarnie, or to snack on whilst you’re having a drink, but what about in your chocolate? Introduced in Ireland, cheese and onion crisps have taken a new form in the shape of a chocolate bar, with cheese and onion crisp bites running through. Cheese and onion crisp lovers can no longer sample this new genre of chocolate, as it is no longer being sold. This is one chocolate flavour we’re not sad to have missed out on.
Although we wouldn’t picture cheese and chocolate going together, we’re starting to sense a running theme. This one’s a more refined take on the cheese sarnie: chocolatier Paul Young’s Summer 2019 Collection featured a caramelised cheese and rye bread truffle. Whilst we weren’t able to sample it, it has been described as having a similar taste to a cheesecake, with the breadcrumbs adding a chewy texture.
To finish our list we’ve included an unusual chocolate flavour which is adults-only. Infused with tobacco leaves, chocolatiers in London used tobacco to achieve a smokey flavour, with notes of sweet vanilla and heady wood running through, combined with dark chocolate for an added depth of taste.
Hotel Chocolat’s inventive streak
Whilst there are definitely some tastes that intrigue us in this list, there are other chocolate flavours which we may have to give a miss. If the thought of munching on a pizza-flavoured chocolate bar makes your stomach turn, we’ve got some much more palatable alternatives.
For those who like a touch of booze running through their chocolate, we’ve used our estate-bottled Chateau Chocolat – a red wine carefully crafted in Portugal from heirloom grape varieties – to devise a rich, elegant chocolate truffle. The spicy and oaky flavours come through the decadent 70% dark chocolate to create a flavour combination you won’t forget!
We’ve used real carrots and walnuts to recreate this classic. Carrot and chocolate – who knew? Don’t worry, there’s nothing savoury about this chocolate – we’ve used warming spices to capture that comforting side of carrot cake, and topped it with white chocolate for a silky sweetness.
Salted Espresso Martini
We’ve added in a few glugs of our own small-batch Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur, punch of organic Turkish coffee, pinch of salt and sealed in caramel-milk chocolate. An indulgent cocktail, made even more decadent in chocolate form.
At Hotel Chocolat, we like to push the boundaries when it comes to chocolate flavour, which is why we enjoy taking your favourite patisseries, cocktails or tipples and recreating them in chocolate form. Whether you stick to the classics, or push the chocolate flavour boundaries, we hope you indulge in your deepest chocolate desires, whenever you want to.