Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Ice Cream Wednesday: Heston from Waitrose

We've really been enjoying making lots of home-made ice creams, sorbets and frozen yoghurts over the last several weeks. But there's also times when it's nice to buy ready made.

Here are my tasting notes about the range of ice creams designed by Heston Blumenthal for Waitrose; they went on sale a few months ago.

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Chocolate & Rosemary

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This was the first one we tried and was a bit disappointing.

Although the rosemary comes through quite clearly in the smell, it doesn't really reach the taste buds. The chocolate flavour is pleasant; a decent quality. But the main problem is the texture, which is grainy rather than smooth. That lets it down hugely.

Salted Caramel Popcorn

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After my first mouthful of this, I wasn't sure. I liked the flavour but there was the strange papery texture of popcorn husks which I found a little off-putting. For Pete, that was a key issue, and he didn't really move further from that.

But, this ice cream very quickly grew on me, because I just adore the flavour.

It's utterly reminiscent of the crunchy, sweet, toffee popcorn I used to buy and eat in the cinema as a kid, in place of the boring plain salted kind sold in the foyer in huge tubs. This ice cream captures that flavour perfectly, and I couldn't help but sing "Butterkist Butterkist ra ra ra" as I ate it. Perhaps I'm giving undue attention to this old popcorn brand, but as Blumenthal is just five years older than me, I suspect his memories of the same toffee popcorn may have come into play during development! I didn't get a huge salty kick from this, though it is there, subtly.

I polished off the entire tub in just a couple of sessions and shall be buying another one soon!

Mustard Savoury

Definitely the most unusual of the trio – and certainly the kind of idea many expect from Blumenthal – is the savoury mustard ice cream.

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This was also the most surprising. Neither of us thought we'd like this much, but went ahead and served a small scoop each with some very delicious steak.

It was fabulous, with a perfectly judged mustard kick and a hint of sweetness that balanced it out very nicely. We actually can't wait to serve this again with other savoury dishes.

Kavey Eats received review samples of these ice creams from Waitrose.

9 comments:

Rosana said...

I love the mustard ice cream, I had that served as canapes: blinis, smoked salmon and dollop of mustard ice cream on top. The other dish was rocket, roasted beef and 2 scoops of ice cream. Sounds weird but is very tasty.
PS.: It was served by Katie G (she reads your blog too)
I also liked the popcorn with caramel dip also from WTR.
And the chocolate was good too. Chocolate is always good!!!

gherkingirl said...

Intrigued by the mustard ice cream now as I'm teaching myself to like mustard.

I could tell the chocolate was going to be all wrong just by looking at it. Weirdly icy looking. Heston needs to take chocolate tips from Chocablog's post last week instead!

William Gardner said...

Great idea with serving it with steak, going to have to try this!

Ino said...

I bought the salted caramel popcorn one recently and absolutely loved it. I agree that the popcorn bits can be a bit annoying but I loved the flavour and the texture was perfect for me. Not too fatty, really melty. The mustard one looks interesting, I might try it with steak like you did...

Heavenly Housewife said...

Of all the flavours, the chocolate rosemary one is the most appealing to me. I'm disappointed that it's a bit of a let down. It's a great flavour combo to try at home though.
*kisses* HH

thelittleloaf said...

I've been wondering what that mustard ice cream would taste like...is it completely savoury then? How bizarre! If it goes well with steak I wonder if you could make garlic butter ice cream...now there's a thought :-)

Kavey said...

Rosana, was that at some special Waitrose event?

Gherkingirl, yes, definitely, it doesn't even look smooth, does it?

William, Ino, we thought it worked so well with steak, do let us know what you think...

Ino, seems we felt the same on the popcorn one. Will be buying more!

HH, you might like it and maybe my batch wasn't a good one so don't dismiss it on my account... but prefer the other two!

LL, it's savoury but has that hint of sweetness I mentioned, so it's like say a port sauce for steak, where you have a touch of sweetness from the port but it's overall a savoury...

meemalee said...

I wanted to get the mustard one, but then thought "I bet it mings" so thanks for the review!

I like the flavour of the popcorn one too, but as you all say, bits get stuck in your gums and stuff and it's not nice.

Rosana said...

Hello Kavey at the photo shoot back in April. Rx