Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Blue Bunny White Chocolate Caramel Cluster (An Ice Cream Review)

When I bought the carton of Blue Bunny White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie, I was on a bit of a white chocolate kick. Because I also bought its freezermate and sibling, White Chocolate Caramel Cluster.

Now this is a limited edition flavor, and it must have reached the end of its run, because it’s not on Blue Bunny’s website as a carton anymore. This isn’t the first time I’ve found these supposedly not-available ice creams (see Haagen-DazsSpiced Caramel Biscuit). Just from reading the description (“Chocolate/caramel/peanut candies and milk chocolate flakes in white chocolate ice cream with a caramel fudge ripple”), I wish it were a permanent grocery-store fixture.

The caramel-peanut candies dot the surface, sometimes blending in with the chopped-up flakes of chocolate, rather than being full caramel nut clusters. But barely a scoop under the surface, the caramel fudge ripple becomes apparent...and you know how I love caramel.

That’s a good thing, too, because I honestly wouldn’t know this was a caramel fudge swirl unless the description said so. It only tastes like caramel. Very good caramel, but if you’re looking for the chocolate component you’re going to be disappointed. The candies, likewise, don’t deliver the whole way. They are so pulverized that very few actually give the whole nut-cluster feel. They’re more like chocolate shavings, or finely chopped nuts, and the caramel gets lost to the ice cream when the clusters aren’t whole. The intact ones are, at most, about the size of a single peanut, and surprisingly not crunchy. Rather, they’re chewy, as if it’s mostly caramel on the inside, with a small nutty crunch. There’s not a ton of peanutty flavor, either, which I don’t really mind...but again, they made a promise and they didn’t really deliver.

The white chocolate ice cream does a better job. It really does taste like white chocolate--obviously chocolate, but sweeter than milk chocolate and creamier, too. There’s a reason I was on a white chocolate kick that day in Walmart, and this base really hit the spot. Unlike its sibling White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie, the white chocolate is in the ice cream itself, rather than as a mix-in. And you can actually taste it that way.

Despite the fact that this ice cream is lacking when compared to its description, I would totally buy it again. The caramel swirl? Love it. The candies, when they’re whole, are fun and flavorful; the little specks provide a slight milk chocolate flavor, and I can’t argue with that. And the base is a clear winner. I wish more companies would incorporate white chocolate ice creams into their flavors, but I’ve read that it’s expensive to produce. Until they pony up, and until this flavor officially runs out, I’ll be buying more. For me, this one was a success.
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