Friday, November 23, 2012

REVIEW: Graeter's Toffee Chocolate Chip

Graeter's seasonal flavors, Pumpkin and Cinnamon, as well as other offerings like Elena's Blueberry Pie, successfully camouflaged some of the more traditional looking flavors in my shipment. My experience with Graeter's vanilla in Cookies & Cream had informed me of how incredible their signature base could be, so after finding out Toffee Chocolate Chip revolved around one of my new favorite ice creams, this didn't last much longer. The only offering on the blog prior to this that involved toffee came in the form of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, so I was looking forward to seeing how the beloved candy is incorporated while using the French pot process.

Not only does Graeter's use the best base available, they've brought in genuine Heath bars to combine with their patented chunks of chocolate inside. Much like they did with the authentic Oreo pieces in their Cookies & Cream flavor, Graeter's leaves the candy making to the professionals, allowing Hershey's to handle the reigns in the toffee department. Pulling the top off displays a veil of vanilla that only partially hides the chocolate below. At 310 calories per serving, this isn't the healthiest of options, but isn't out of the ordinary for the ice cream made in this Cincinnati based creamery.

Their base vanilla ice cream is just hard to beat. With a minuscule amount of air inside, the denseness is part of the experience. The time it takes for this to melt down allows the consumer to fully appreciate the final product when using the small batch, French pot process. The result is one of the smoothest ice cream experiences in existence. Even if you don't typically enjoy vanilla ice cream, it's hard not to appreciate this simple concept executed with such precision. Because of the density, this pint moves at a snail's pace, slowing to a creep once I begin to run into the signature chocolate chips.

As can be expected from a pint of Graeter's loaded with their chunks of chocolate, the size of these are always impressive. It's a category to which they have no competition. The soft, rich chocolate melts down quickly, complimenting the creamy, vanilla base perfectly. Eventually expecting to see pieces of toffee, I first encounter this previously unmentioned, liquid toffee swirl between the chocolate chips. This sauce provides an extreme preview of the actual candy to come. The intensely flavored swirl remains soft and stringy despite sitting inside dense ice cream.

Although it's hard to differentiate at points between the signature chocolate chips and the actual chunks of Heath bar, the taste and texture are easily distinguishable. These hunks of chocolate covered toffee combine nicely with the base vanilla and chocolate chips, adding the taste of sweetened butter to the equation. If you're a fan of Toffee-infused ice cream, this is the pint for you.

Where I Found It: Graeter's Online Store
Grade: A

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