Recently I admitted something embarrassing on Instagram. I bought a tub of the Häagen-Dazs Cookie Dough Chip ice cream and acknowledged that I hadn't tried the brand before -or if I had I certainly couldn't remember it. Indeed the reason why I bought the tub was because Sainsbury's were advertising it as new and had it on offer (a combination as a food blogger that is near-on impossible to refrain). I apologise HD fans, but I really wasn't bowled over by it. Ben & Jerry's still got my vote. In came the suggestions of other, better flavours that I needed to try - many of which were caramel based.
Fortunately HD have listened to their customers and have recently brought out a four pack of mixed mini tubs called their 'caramel collection', which launched in Tesco for a princely £4.
Whilst the idea of trying a selection of the HD caramel flavours was appealing, it was the inclusion of a new-to-the-UK flavourthat really made the pack tempting. When the new HD collection packs* came on offer this week my restraint buckled and I headed straight to Tesco to hand over my £2.50.
"Caramel & Speculoos (11%) ice cream."
HD suggest waiting 10 minutes after retrieving your tub from the freezer before consumption. Ha! I haven't got that kind of patience I'm afraid. Instead I tried to scoop the rock solid ice cream straight away. Badly.
The cinnamon biscuit was immediately evident both from the sweet scent and golden speckles rage permeated the ice cream. I couldn't see a huge amount of biscuit pieces but hoped they were just playing a game of hide and seek.
One thing I do really like about HD is the indulgent creaminess that somehow tastes more refreshing than other brands. The caramel was relinquished to the back of the flavour queue but lingered in the background to allow the gentle spice to shine through. The cinnamon wasn't as punchy as it is in Ben & Jerry's 'Speculoos? Specu-Love', but admittedly the HD version is smoother and more refined.
I loved the little biscuit pieces which -despite my initial reservations- were in abundance and crunchy. To me they tasted more like shortbread, but the ingredients list gives little away as to the reality of my supposition.
If you're a HD/caramel ice cream fan I suggest you head to Tesco and buy the collection whilst it's still on offer. I would buy the Speculoos Caramel Biscuit & Cream as a full pint if HD launched one, but only on offer... otherwise it's back to Ben & Jerry for me!
*there's also fruit, sorbet and vanilla collections available, all currently £2.50.