Friday, September 13, 2013

Front Porch Chocolate Rocker (An Ice Cream Review)

I was impressed by my first experience with Front Porch. Their Scarlett Red Velvet ice cream in itself was creamy and delicious, but the cake mix-ins really made it shine. With that in mind, I think it’s about time I dug into Chocolate Rocker.

OK, this pint confuses me. Mine contains “rich chocolate ice cream with fudge swirl and fudge brownies.” But every online reference I can find, including the Front Porch website, says they’re truffles, not brownies, although the picture on the website looks identical to my pint. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

I have to be honest, when I first opened this up I almost put it back in the freezer and reached for some Ben & Jerry’s. The icy layer was concerning, and it really looks rather plain on top.

On top. Merely a few spoonfuls (not scoopfuls, spoonfuls) in, and I was already hitting the swirl. That picture is literally only after scraping the icy coating off the top.

The ice cream itself (aside from the top) is creamy enough, smooth and soft and definitely lighter than the super-premium brands. Although it appears to be a light brown--something I associate with milk chocolate, and it does have milky tones--it’s not overly sweet. Not bitter, but it does stretch toward dark chocolate...hmm, who knew a straight chocolate base could be so complex?

Now, looks can be deceiving. I say that because the fudge swirl looks so delectable...and it is, but it’s got some funky texture thing going on. It’s not liquidy or gooey like a normal fudge swirl. It’s gritty, but not like a cookies & cream swirl either (think B&J’s Milk & Cookies or Chocolate Therapy). It’s icy. I know logically that it’s not actually icy, but that’s what I kept thinking every time I ate some. Why is there ice in my ice cream? It interferes with the creaminess.

OK, I’m getting redundant. If they’d have stopped there, I’d have no reason to ever eat this ice cream again. The good news is, they didn’t. They added...*cue drumroll of suspense*...

Brownies! I can confirm that these are brownies, not truffles, and like their Scarlett cake counterparts, they are the star of the show. Epic. They make this flavor. Once again, Front Porch has included a mix-in that, though small, provides a ton of flavor. These are chewy, extra moist, and really, really, really fudgy. They’re also everywhere, which is awesome. They remind me a bit of chocolate buttercream, all sugary and with the same bit of cookie dough-like grit that the red velvet pieces had. The only complaint I might have had--that they were on the small side--was nullified by the sheer number of them. I don’t know how they do it, but Front Porch certainly has the best mix-ins of any ice cream I’ve ever eaten. I’d eat this stuff again just for the brownies.
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