Monday 25 November 2013

Ben & Jerry's Core: Dough-ble whammy

Product name: Ben & Jerry’s Core: Dough-ble whammy
Purchase details:
£2.49 for a 500ml tub (
230 per 100ml serving

You might need to be sitting down for this confession...I’ve only ever eaten Ben & Jerry’s ice cream twice. I know, I know – it’s terrible. We just never had it in the house when I was growing up and, now I’m old enough to make my own decisions about what to buy, I rarely think of getting my own ice cream! The two varieties I have tried (Phish Food and Core: Peanut butter me up), though, have been pretty darn good.

I’ve heard a lot, over the years, about how amazing the Cookie Dough variety is but I’ve just never got around to trying it. However, when a friend raved about this even more exciting Dough-ble whammy flavour earlier in the year, I decided I just had to try it. Fair enough, it’s now a few months later, but I’ve been waiting for it to be on offer – I snapped it up as soon as it was half price!

The Core range of ice cream is relatively new and, I think, is fantastic. The concept involves each tub being split into two different ice cream flavours with some form of pillar of sauce running down the centre. In this case, the ice cream flavours were chocolate and cookie dough and the core (that contributed to 12% of the tub) was chocolate fudge sauce. Excitingly there were even chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough within the ice cream (making up 7% of the product), and I have to say, I loved the clever name!

Despite it being a freezing cold November day, I was really excited to try this Fairtrade ice cream for the first time. I’m used to seeing Ben & Jerry’s tubs containing background images of a farm scene and, whilst this was present on the back of my tub, I was far more interested in the scrummy-looking images of the ice cream that waited inside, and I loved how this was done in a way that clearly showed the layout of the tub rather than being a ‘serving suggestion’ of the product in a bowl.

The back of the tub warned that the ‘chocolatey concoction’ wasn’t ‘for the faint-hearted’ so I decided to stick to the recommended 100ml serving size which is about the equivalent of two scoops. The packaging didn’t state where the ice cream had been produced, but there was a fantastic description of the journey each mouthful took you on, involving diving ‘into the core of soft chocolate fudge’ and riding ‘the rapids of rich chocolate ice cream’ whilst avoiding the ‘cookie dough rocks as you reach the canyon of creamy vanilla ice cream’.

On prising off the lid, I thought the ice cream looked great, with the border between the two halves being curved just enough to look a bit like the yin and yang symbol. There were visible chunks of chocolate and, on delving a bit deeper, the cookie dough looked deliciously like light brown sugar. As for the core, this looked far more like chocolate fudge sauce then I’d expected, and was a darker shade of brown to the chocolate ice cream which made it easy to see what you were getting on each spoonful.

As this was a frozen product, there was hardly any smell at all, but there was a very slight hint of chocolate. The chocolate ice cream that this seemed to come from had a strong cocoa taste and was also extremely creamy (unsurprising when considering 24% of the product was cream!). I love vanilla and loved how fantastically strong this flavour was in the cookie dough side of the ice cream – it wasn’t boring at all. Both of the ice cream varieties had a lovely, silky melt which was interspersed with the chunky chocolate pieces that reminded me slightly of the end of a Cornetto cone, although more chocolatey.

The core was, quite simply, incredible. It really did taste like it had been lifted from a chocolate fudge cake – it had such a strong chocolate flavour that almost hinted at alcohol. On the spoon, it was very stiff and gooey, and remained nice and thick in the mouth before practically trickling down the throat. Overall, it was a great additional texture that you would never normally experience with ice cream.

As for the cookie dough pieces, I was delighted that that these had remained soft, despite being frozen. It had a part-smooth, part-grainy texture and, thankfully, did taste like cookie dough – amazing. It was sugary and, as a result, lifted the flavour from the intense chocolate hit provided by the core and half of the ice cream.

I ate my ice cream after it had been out of the freezer for 5–10 minutes and found that this allowed it to maintain its frozenness whilst being very soft and smooth. The flavours were nothing short of great together so I had no option but to lick the bowl when I had finished!

I think I need to buy Ben & Jerry’s more often! 

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