Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Along with the impressive flavors Walmart has created for their Sam's Choice line, including the incredible Coffee & Donuts, they've also released an updated premium ice cream line available in larger cartons. We opted to try Sea Salt Caramel Truffle first to see how their sea salt caramel truffle ice cream with a seal salt caramel swirl and truffle candy pieces would taste at only 160 calories per serving. All signs were positive after popping off the lid and seeing what was underneath. The first swipe of our scoop tore right through one of the truffles, releasing all the sea salt caramel sauce inside.
After getting a few pints from my brother down in Pittsburgh last week, I wanted to dig back into the Handel's mix seeing as how I find this company very superior when it comes to bases and sometimes mix-ins (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was insane). Chocolate Malt with Caramel was a new flavor. They have a basic Chocolate Malt and Chocolate Cake Batter but they also infused the Caramel into the base and did a great job. Upon cracking the lid, it looks like a lighter chocolate flavor (possibly due to the Caramel and Malt mix into the base). Its rare that Handel's has a basic flavor like this, but again this is a newer flavor and I wanted to test the waters with how good it truly is compared to say a Dark Chocolate from Jeni's, which could be the best on the market.
The first bite reminded me of a whopper with an added caramel swirl or caramel filling in each bite. Handel's did a great job combining a very dense ice cream full of superior flavoring. If you are a ice cream fan that enjoys a lighter chocolate (think swiss) and not a chocolate like a Hershey's bar then this will be right up your alley as far as taste goes. Seeing this pint does not have any mix-ins, there is really not much else to touch on as Handel's does have some killer mix-ins.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Earlier this month, the fine folks at Dairy Queen sent us a gift card (as well as this nifty waffle cone holder above) so we could try out their Blizzard of the Month for April 2014: Confetti Cake. And because of the holder, we also opted to try the moist white cake pieces and confetti frosting crumbled and tumbled with creamy vanilla soft serve in a chocolate dipped waffle cone. We made the trip around lunch on a Monday and had to wait a while on our order. Unlike our previous experiences, Dairy Queen didn't put much effort into this one.
After having a Hazelnut Gelato from Graeter's, I went right back to Ben & Jerry's and wanted to compare to see what i would find similar in the base and seeing which one dominated because Hazelnut is not a very common base/theme when it comes to ice cream (even though I wish other companies would take note). Hazed and Confused Core is "hazelnut and chocolate ice creams with fudge chips and a hazelnut fudge core." Upon opening the lid I got to see all aspects of everything listed on the label which is a good thing. Sometimes you are left with just a top layer and nothing to note, but as you go down in the Core series you notice the core does get thicker/deeper/richer as you continue to indulge in the pint.
For my first bite I went right for the Hazelnut Core to see just how much density and flavor it packed. The Hazelnut Core was more of a chocolate/fudge kind of taste and not a pure hazelnut fudge. Also, the vanilla looking side of the ice cream is the hazelnut, which when I had Graeter's it looked like a light coffee base. So you can see the color variation between the two pints. In my opinion, the hazelnut flavoring was on the weaker end in the Ben & Jerry's (more buttery and mild), but did not have a slight after taste that Greater's did provide (comparing the two). The chocolate chips are only found in the chocolate side making it a chocolate of chocolate but are more along the lines of flake rather than real chips. Something you would find in a Graeter's may be half an inch thick.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
While growing up in North Carolina, family excursions to Baskin Robbins happened every so often, but now, all the stores have disappeared in my area. For that reason, our blog hasn’t been able to cover one of the most recognizable brands of ice cream in America. Lucky for us, Baskin Robbins now offers a wide selection of prepackaged products that they were willing to let us try. Many of their popular flavors were captured in these 14 ounce containers; including the one seen above, Pralines ’N Cream, one of our favorite combinations. This vanilla flavored ice cream with praline-coated pecan pieces & caramel ribbon had no problem peaking our interest once we pulled off the top.
We’re no strangers to caramel sauce, but Baskin Robbins had one of the best we’ve seen. The thick, assertive swirl classically complements the super-premium, high-butterfat vanilla base and gets even better once the praline-coated pecan pieces add even more taste and texture. It’s hard to impress us with basic flavors after all the ice cream we’ve seen, but Baskin Robbins certainly got our attention with this entry.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
This has been a rather chocolaty winter and early spring for Blue Bell, what with the release of flavors like I ♥ Chocolate and Dutch Chocolate. This month, another chocolate flavor is added to the parade, Nutty Chocolate. Blue Bell describes this flavor as a rich chocolate ice cream loaded with milk chocolate coated pecans, dark chocolate coated peanuts, white chocolate coated almonds and roasted walnuts. So we're promised lots of different kinds of nut, most coated with chocolate candy, and immersed in a rich chocolate base ice cream? Oh yes, I am definitely inclined to want some!
Of course, promising is one thing, delivering is another. Fortunately, Blue Bell delivers on the description: If you love chocolate ice cream loaded with nuts, this flavor is for you. Nutty chocolate it succeeds in terms of both quality and quantity. Quality-wise, the base ice cream tastes pretty good. This is Blue Bell's basic chocolate, almost a milk-chocolate, and while it does not reach the taste heights of their excellent vanilla, it serves as a fine foundation for the mix-ins, which are the stars of this show. The pecans, peanuts, and almonds are all outstanding. These nuts taste very fresh, they crunch in your mouth rather than having a mushy consistency, and the use of different types of nuts creates a nice variety of taste for the palate. This taste diversity is further enhanced by the three kinds of chocolate candy coatings. You can really taste the differences among the milk, dark, and white chocolate that coats these respective nuts, and the roasted walnuts add nicely to the flavor sensation.
Need some ice cream suggestions? Click on what component you're craving for further assistance!
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