My relationship with Ben & Jerry’s goes way back. Our Facebook status would be “It’s Complicated” because of its on again/off again nature. While in college, a cone of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia was a splurge compared to the soft-serve offered on campus. While I lived in Mexico, I often longed for a scoop of Vermont gold instead of the frozen vegetable shortening offered by Nestle.
Our relationship back then was intense and passionate. These days, though, Ben & Jerry’s has taken a back seat to a more sultry suitor, Talenti.
Ice cream is my favorite food group and I’m not picky. If it’s cold, sweet, and creamy, I’m generally content. Until recently, Ben & Jerry’s distinguished itself from other brands for something I refer to as the “eat-in-one-sitting” factor. Their ice creams usually rate high on that factor and recently, when I’ve picked a pint of Pistachio Pistachio, I’m reminded of the steadfastness of my relationship with Ben & Jerry’s.
I was hoping that Ben & Jerry’s new Truffles line would woo me back to ice cream brand fidelity with the promise of a sweet lover’s whammy: ice cream and a decadent confection together. The Truffles line has three flavors: Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake, Chillin’ the Roast, and Chocolate Shake It! After trying these new flavors, our status is still “It’s Complicated.”
Chocolate Shake It Truffles
I started with this one because I’m not a big fan of malt flavors (except in beer) so I had low expectations and wanted to get it out of the way. I was wrong. It turned out to be my favorite of the three and the only one I felt compelled to eat the whole pint in one sitting. The chocolate malt milkshake ice cream base was mildly malt flavored, more like milk chocolate with a hint of malt. The marshmallow ribbons were gooey but not sticky.
The truffles had a dark chocolate cookie coating with a pronounced roasted (burnt?) flavor and were evenly balanced throughout the pint. Each spoonful of ice cream was more reminiscent of s’mores than Whopper malt balls. For someone like myself who doesn’t like malt, this was a plus. This was the most balanced flavor combination of the three.
Chillin’ the Roast Truffles
The coffee ice cream base had a distinct coffee flavor, not overpowering but definitely obvious. It reminded me of what my coffee tastes like when it has been sitting out for a few hours, half-and-half mildly soured.
The truffles had the same coating as Chocolate Shake It! but with a dense rum-laced liqueur core. The fudge swirls were unremarkable and did not seem elemental to this flavor mashup. The truffles were less evenly distributed in this flavor than in the other two flavors, though, overall, they were my favorite, especially when eaten separately from the ice cream base. This flavor was a nice change from plain ol’ coffee ice cream, but too intense for whole pint-bingeing.
Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles
In theory, this one sounded amazing. In practice, it was very disappointing. I kept looking at the label to remind myself of what Ben & Jerry’s was trying to achieve. What flavor was the ice cream base? Oh. Caramel Cheesecake? Okaaay. The truffles? Cheesecake? Oh really?
The graham cracker coating on these truffles disintegrated easily into the ice cream base, leaving a marble-sized pellet of frozen coconut oil. The “cheesecake” core tasted like coconut oil with lemon notes. The chocolate swirl didn’t meld well with rest of the flavor elements, perhaps because the flavor of the cheesecake truffle was so strong. Perhaps a caramel swirl would have been better suited? I tried this one last, fully expecting to eat it in one sitting. Alas, it’s one of a few ice creams I’ve ever tasted where I was not compelled to eat more than just the recommended serving. Ben & Jerry’s, you have betrayed me.
(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake – 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein. Chillin’ The Roast – 270 calories, 17 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 70 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugars, and 5 grams of protein. Chocolate Shake It! – 260 calories, 15 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 60 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $4.69 each
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Chocolate Shake It!)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Chillin’ the Roast)
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake)
Pros: Ice cream and fancy candy together. Unique additions to otherwise common ice cream flavors.
Cons: Pronounced coconut oil flavor in some truffle bites. Ice cream base flavors that are just “meh.”