Saturday, January 5, 2013

Boston Cream Pie, Sans Chocolate (An Ice Cream Review)

I’m afraid my overconsumption of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream over winter break has left me with a need for excitement in my ice cream. It can’t just be chocolate chip, or caramel swirl, or double, it’s gotta be unique.

B&J’s Boston Cream Pie certainly fits the bill. Where else are you going to find “Boston Cream Pie Ice Cream with Yellow Cake Pieces, Fudge Flakes & Swirls of Pastry Cream”? And what exactly is Boston Cream Pie ice cream?

I have to confess I’ve never actually had BCP, so I won’t be able to tell you if it really does taste like the original dessert. But I do know that BCP is pastry cream sandwiched between two white cakes and topped with chocolate ganache.

So...where’s the chocolate? When I think about actual BCP, usually the first thing I notice is the chocolate frosting. So based on looks, this is a little disappointing at first. Maybe all the mix-ins are hiding further down...

Well, there are certainly tons of mix-ins, but not chocolate. The clear-ish, yellow things (which, let
’s be totally honest here, look sort of like pus) are pastry swirl. The cookie dough-ish blobs (there’s one at bottom-center) are the white cake pieces. And the chocolate flakes look as sparse as ever.

Here’s a close-up shot of some pastry swirl. It’s just an extra-sweet, sugary blast in an ice cream that’s already really sweet. It looks like a plain vanilla base, but it’s anything but. It’s super, super sweet. I don’t think I’ve had a sweeter ice cream. I’d almost call it a cross between cake and cake batter, leaning more towards cake. But, lest I get annoyingly redundant, SWEET!

If the ice cream alone doesn’t do it for you, the cake pieces are very dense and chewy, and also quite capable of inducing a sugar high. They remind me of pound cake, though again, I’ve never had BCP so I’m going to have to trust Ben and Jerry that they’ve really given me BCP here. The pieces are chewy enough to get stuck in your teeth, so their pound cake/angel food taste lingers long after they’re gone, which isn’t a bad thing.

The pastry swirl, like I said, just might make you pass out from sugar overload. Especially if y ou’ve got something like this in the bottom of your bowl:

THAT was one sweet bite...can you feel your teeth rotting?

Last and certainly least: the fudge. You can’t even taste it. Sure, maybe a little when you crunch it and it gets stuck in your teeth for a while. But the flakes are so small, and few and far between, that they don’t add much beyond texture. It’s disappointing for a dessert known for its chocolate topping.

I have to admit, even though I enjoyed it (come on, it’s Ben & Jerry’s), it did get a little bit boring after a while. I liked the cake pieces and the overall flavor, but the lack of chocolate left me wanting. If Ben & Jerry’s could revamp this somehow and do a chocolate frosting swirl like the one in Cake Batter, it could be awesome.
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