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