Wednesday 15 February 2017

NEW! Ben & Jerry's Topped: Salted Caramel Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough & Strawberry Swirled (ASDA)

The news hit two days before I went away: Ben & Jerry's were treating us (once again) with three brand spanking new flavours, and in a different style too. The new Topped tubs have a chocolatey layer above the ice cream and all three flavours sounded insanely good. As always, ice cream princess Ms One Treat was straight off the mark and I eagerly awaited her reviews from the other side of the world. Whilst she praised the new flavours she wasn't blown away, but I'm afraid to admit that it didn't hinder my excitement to try them for myself. Frustratingly Ocado has been the only place to purchase them from until this week, and seeing as the online supermarkets refuses to deliver to us country bumpkins, I had to wait it out. Monday was the day! Instagram filled with pictures of the Topped tubs in ASDA, and so I made a beeline on the way home.

£4.80 a tub. Ouch. Fortunately for me, Ben & Jerry's kindly invited me to a launch event a few months ago, and when I told them that I couldn't make it they sent me a couple of vouchers for free tubs and I've saved them for new tubs that aren't on promotion.

So which to choose? I'm embarrassed to admit that I dawdled for a good few minutes, pondering between the three before phoning a friend (I.e calling Bert) and asking his opinion. He chose the chocolate and strawberry tubs, but then I remembered that One Treat recommended the cookie dough as the best of the bunch and once again I was baffled. It was like choosing between my children.

Then I was struck by a brainwave! I remembered it was the 13th of February, and I could have bet your bottom dollar that Bert hadn't bought me a valentine present. All three made their way to the till, thanks Bert!

Salted Caramel Brownie

"Vanilla ice cream with a salted caramel swirl (11%), chocolate brownie pieces (3%), chocolatey chunks (3%) and chocolatey topping (9%)

The thick layer on top had a ganache-like density and shine to it, with plenty of dark coloured chocolate ampersands dotted about. Digging into it was fairly easy though, and I found the ice cream beneath to be one of Ben & Jerry's softer styles (much like the Sofa So Good). There was noticeably less chunks in it than I've become accustomed too of late, and the sauce was almost infused within the ice cream.

The taste was good though, and whilst I'd ordinarily never buy Ben & Jerry's for their vanilla flavours, it was yummy and allowed the caramel sauce to shine through. The brownies that I found, although far and few between (there's just 3% brownie in this compared to 7% in Sofa So Good) were up to scratch -moist and chewy as they reliably always are in B&J's tubs. The topping was the star of the show though, for it is in fact a chocolate and hazelnut paste and tastes rather like a nutella inspired ganache. It's thick and silken and complements the ice cream wonderfully. I only wish there were layers of it as opposed to just a topping! 


Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough
Despite being a blatant chocoholic, I'm very fussy when it comes to chocolate ice creams. It's a fine line on when they become just too sickly and I didn't particularly enjoy my last pint of Ben & Jerry's Blondie Brownie. That said I'm utterly addicted to their Chocolate Fudge Brownie Wich's and couldn't be more pleased to see that they've made a come back in multi-pack form this year.

"Chocolate ice cream with a caramel swirl (10%), chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough (3%), chocolatey chunks (3%) and chocolatey topping (9%)."

The uppermost layer used in this tub is the same as used in the Salted Caramel Brownie Topped, a thick chocolate hazelnut paste with chocolate ampersands -which all stuck themselves to one side of my tub.

(Yep I was greedy and had both the Chocolate Caramel cookie Dough & Salted Caramel Brownie at the same time. The brownie is on the left and the cookie dough on the right).

The chocolate ice cream didn't disappoint, and I loved the addition of the caramel swirl. I recently tried Baskin Robbins' chocolate peanut butter ice cream (one of the best ice creams I've ever had!) and this reminded me of it. It's almost like a Rolo in ice cream form. Even better was the cookie dough pieces which broke up the texture and added a gritty biscuit flavour, nom nom nom. Again the amount of 'extras' was lower than usual, but I didn't seem to mind so much thanks to my state of chocoholic bliss. 


Strawberry Swirl

Why we can't get Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake in pint size tubs I'll never know. It's the only reason I buy the multi-packs of 100ml tubs (and only when they're on offer for £2.50 in Tesco). Ben & Jerry's seem to forget that a fruity ice cream is delicious when done right, although they seem to be rectifying this having brought back One Sweet World, and now this Strawberry Swirl, hurrah. 

"Cream ice cream with strawberry (13%) and marshmallow (7%) swirls, shortbread chunks (3%), with a white chocolate flavour topping (9%) and white chocolatey chunks (1.5%)."

Oooh, the white chocolate topping looked extremely inviting, and once dug into revealed a pale creamy coloured ice cream beneath. The topping was firmer than the hazelnut based one, shattering into shards upon impact. A pretty pink swirl pervaded throughout the ice cream, although the marshmallow was less obvious.

Mmmm. Delicious! I'm a huge fan of white chocolate and raspberry and/or strawberry in any form, so using it in Ben & Jerry's luxuriously creamy ice cream was always going to be a winner for me. The white chocolate was just as creamy and sweet as I'd hoped and melted in the mouth easily. Perhaps there could have been more strawberry sauce, or indeed it could have done with being a strawberry ice cream to bring the flavours into a better harmony, but I still absolutely loved this tub. The shortbread chunks were buttery and crumbly, and should make any Scot proud. 

I really really miss the Baked Alaska tubs, but Strawberry Swirled is a very good compromise!


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