Hotel Chocolat Festive Wreath Review

Hotel Chocolat Festive WreathI’d be happy to review chocolate all year long, but at Christmas it’s very much a part of the proceedings and I was thrilled when I was sent the Hotel Chocolat Festive Wreath to review.

Hotel Chocolat have earned a reputation for quality chocolates designed to make the recipient feel special and valued (even if they purchased it for themselves!) The only problem with having such a glowing resume is of course living up to the higher expectations it undoubtedly brings.


Obviously the first thing you notice about the Festive Wreath is its appearance, stunningly moulded from chocolate which would grace the centre of any Christmas table.

As a centrepiece it’s also a novel idea and a great way to impress your guests. The wreath was slightly smaller than I had imagined but when I lifted it up and felt the weight I understood why, there is a lot of chocolate in there!

Hotel Chocolat Festive WreathTaste

Cutting the wreath is harder than you might think as a direct result of it being made from solid chocolate with nibbly biscuits and crushed almond florentines, make sure you have a plate underneath to catch the crumbs.

It’s made from a higher quality chocolate than you might ordinarily buy and the taste reflects this in its rich deep flavour. Saying that all my children really enjoyed tucking into this wreath and they have been introduced to different qualities of cocoa. Some kids may find this too rich, but it will definitely suit an adult palate.


At £21 I personally think this wreath is really good value for money, for the sheer number of grams included it’s a great deal for a quality brand such as Hotel Chocolat. Obviously these cost more than certain high street Chocolatiers but as the courier who delivered this to my door said ‘ooh posh chocolates, lucky you!’ this brand is a cut above the average.

Would I recommend this product?

Without a doubt, it’s beautifully presented, tastes devine and would make a fabulous gift!


The wreath is available in Hotel Chocolat stores nationwide or you can order online and view the rest of their range on their website.

Gluten Free Vanilla Biscuits Cookies

Gluten free Vanilla Biscuits

Gluten free Vanilla Biscuits

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I now have a relative who has to eat gluten free food. Most of the time this presents absolutely no problems, it’s really only at parties where the vast majority of food is cake, biscuits and breads that all of a sudden nothing is suitable. With that in mind I’ve adapted one of my favourite biscuit recipes to make it gluten free. These biscuits are lovely sprinkled lightly with caster sugar or iced, depending on your preference.


300g/11oz Butter or baking margarine

450g/16oz Plain gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm)

1 Tsp Xanthum gum

250g/9oz Caster sugar

2 Tsp Vanilla extract



In a large bowl sieve together the flour and xanthum gum. Add the butter and rub together using your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add in the caster sugar and vanilla extract, and bring together into a dough using your hands.

Start to roll your dough on a floured surface (remember to use your gluten free flour!) and then cut out into your chosen shape.

Bake at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 9-10 minutes until lightly golden at the edges.

Remove from the oven and place onto a cooking rack before sprinkling lightly with caster sugar. If you are planning on icing the biscuits then omit the sprinkling of sugar and leave them to cool completely before decorating.


If you don’t have any Xanthum gum or can’t find it (we got ours at Sainsburys so it’s readily available) then you can remove it from the recipe. However you will find that the finished biscuits are really crunchy and better for dunking in a cup of tea, also without the Xanthum gum you might need to bake for 1-2 mins less.

All my family really enjoy these biscuits whether they eat gluten or not, which makes them the perfect substitute.


Sainsbury’s Comic Relief Cookie Challenge!

As a member of the Sainsbury’s Bank Family Blogger Network I was recently asked if I would like to create a cookie design in aid of comic relief 🙂

I’m always keen to get creative so I was happy to join in the fun. Five runners up will be picked from all the designs, Sainsbury’s Facebook fans will then vote for their overall favourite design to feature on the Comic Relief baking page.

This year Comic relief is all about Dinosaurs (with toes), so with this in mind….

Watch out there’s Dinos about!

Two of these dinos are sporting red noses and one has taken inspiration from the aptly name T-Spex red nose character.

Make your own Di-nose-saurs

150g/ 51/2 oz Butter (or Stork)

225g/ 8oz Plain Flour

125g/ 4 1/2 oz Caster Sugar

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Icing

The easiest way to ice biscuits is to use a Royal Icing, Sainsbury’s sell this ready to mix in a box 🙂

Small smarties or Silverspoon Coloured Choco Beans


Rub together the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the vanilla extract and caster sugar and bring together with your hands to form a dough.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough, then cut out your Dinos.

Bake for about 10 mins in a 170C/350F oven, keep an eye on the biscuits to make sure they don’t burn.

Cool on a wire rack.

Mix up the royal icing. I usually devide this between several pots so I can mix up multiple colours. Using a fine piping bag ice the background colour onto your Dinosaur, you can also spread it on if you’d prefer. Leave for several hours to harden.

Once dry add a small white blob of icing to make the eye and leave to harden. Once dry add any final details such as smile, toes and pupil.

Finally using a blob of royal icing attach a red chocolate bean/smartie onto the nose of your Dino 🙂

The biscuits can take several hours to dry out completely, but it’s worth the wait as they can be stacked into a tin once finished without sticking together or damaging all your hard work!

Of course you can also customise your biscuits to make many other red nose characters. Our very own Spotty Crocodile made it into biscuit form sporting a dashing red nose!