January was a slow month for Blue Bell. With only a few featured rotational flavors to start off 2013, I had to try at least one before the month was over. Unable to find their brand new, Mint Cookies n' Cream, I settled for a carton of their seemingly unexciting Mocha Almond Fudge. Described as coffee ice cream accented with chopped roasted almonds and a rich chocolate sundae sauce, this lacks the large pieces of cake and various desserts that are usually stuffed inside Blue Bell's best flavors. Despite having tried a slew of different selections from this Southern based creamery, this would be my first experience with their coffee ice cream. I'd previous tried their almonds in Moo-llenium Crunch and a similar chocolate sundae sauce inside Coconut Fudge, but the pint sized portion hadn't prepared me for what the lid was hiding.
At only 170 calories per serving, I was expecting meager portions of mediocre mix-ins that would leave me wishing I hadn't invested in an entire half gallon. Fortunately for me, it didn't take long to tell that wouldn't be the case. The golf ball sized glob of thick, sticky sundae sauce pictured above had a death grip on the lid with no intentions of letting go. After finally prying the top off, I was able to transfer a few scoops into a bowl, and all the while, being reminded off the dependable consistency across Blue Bell's entire lineup. Never too heavy or too light, this well balanced mixture of fluffy yet dense coffee ice cream came across as mild in comparison to bases from Starbucks and Talenti. While a little lacking on it's own, the enormous streaks of sundae sauce would soon make up for the underachieving base. Much like authentic hot fudge, this version shares the same intense richness at a cooler temperature. The contrasting consistencies and flavors came together to significantly improve the performance of Mocha Almond Fudge.
While I typically find nuts in ice cream as more of a hinderance than a help, these chopped almonds are small enough to benefit the other two components. The roasted nature made them a bit softer than some of their raw counterparts I've had in flavors, which attributes to only a slight crunch before breaking down. Unfortunately for Mocha Almond Fudge, I've been spoiled by Blue Bell. This can't come close to some of their more involved options that contain chunks of cake and hunks of delectable desserts like Banana Nut Bread and Birthday Cake. Given the simplicity of only a few basic ingredients, this was better than I had expected, but I probably won't be buying again.
Where I Found It: BI-LO