For those who may not be quite as privy to strolling a grocery store’s frozen aisle on a bi-weekly basis, Ben & Jerry’s erupted into 2021 with seven new semi-novelty pints called Topped. I call them “semi-novelty” because, like their Core’d ice cream siblings before them, these flavors are definitely meant to catch eyes and get people talking about their full layer of chocolate ganache beneath the lid. Last year saw a Topped microdose of two new additions, and 2023 arrives with another fresh duo — Bossin’ Cream Pie and Raspberry Cheesecake.
Bossin’ Cream Pie is vanilla custard ice cream with cake pieces and pastry cream swirls topped with milk chocolaty ganache and fudge chips.
Boston Cream Pie is one of those elusive desserts that I’ve had a bunch of spinoffs of but never the actual dessert itself. I know it’s a shame, but I don’t think it’s all that common in California. I’ve had Boston Cream doughnuts, cookies, yogurt, and even the original Ben & Jerry’s Boston Cream Pie Ice Cream from many years ago, but enjoying an actual slice has escaped me…and now I’m sad.
Anyway, the vanilla custard base is notably different than the milker, sweeter, more floral one that I recently wrote (and raved) about in Lights! Caramel! Action! This has a denser texture and eggy flavor that does a good job of feeling and tasting like a custard as opposed to traditional ice cream — think French Vanilla versus Vanilla Bean. It’s good and solid for this flavor profile, but I prefer the standard vanilla overall.
Yellow cake is one of my favorites, and there’s plenty of the soft and sweet mix-in to go around in this pint. The pieces have a notable chew and touch of butteriness that blends in a bit with the base. It’s not the most wow-factor combination, but it works and it’s tasty, if not a touch forgettable due to the lack of contrast, but still good.
What isn’t forgettable is the milk chocolate ganache on top, which may be the best execution of the topping since its inception two years ago. It’s soft, fudge-y, and brilliantly sweet with a silky smooth texture that makes every spoonful it touches absolute gold. The soft ganache gets accented by crunchy bits of fudge chips, and I love it. I don’t really notice the pastry cream swirls that much, and I wish they were more prominent, but the fudge is so good and the base and cake are so classically tried and true that it remains a pint I’m willing to bet almost anyone will enjoy.
Topped Raspberry Cheesecake is cheesecake ice cream with raspberry swirls and graham cracker, topped with white chocolate ganache and graham cracker crumbs.
Finally, a Ben & Jerry’s pint with enough graham cracker! For my whole scooping life, I feel B&J graham is among its strongest mix-ins and I always want more. Here it is, we have more, and it is excellent. The graham cracker on top is dry and crumbly with a slight crunch that combines beautifully with the sweet and creamy white ganache beneath it. The graham inside is ample and much softer with a butteriness and hint of saltiness that caresses my spoon with delight — it’s so good. Can we please get this much graham cracker in Pumpkin Cheesecake? I will levitate if it does.
The cheesecake base is good and pretty unique. It’s not the richest cheesecake base I’ve ever had, but it’s notably funky with some tang and pronounced cheesiness that’s impressive and strong enough to get the point across. Interestingly, the texture isn’t quite as dense as I expect from B&J. It’s not light by any means, but there’s something about the funkiness of the flavoring and inclusion of cheese cultures that gives it a different, mildly thinner texture.
The only slight misfire in this pint is the raspberry swirls, which I didn’t get enough of. When I encounter them, they bring a much needed brightness and acidity that works with the funky ice cream and buttery graham splendidly. A couple of the bites I had were a touch icy, but even then, I wanted more. But there’s a good chance your experience will be fruitier than mine if you pick this one up, which you absolutely should.
DISCLOSURE: I received free product samples from Ben & Jerry’s. Doing so did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: One Pint
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Bossin’ Cream Pie), 8 out of 10 (Raspberry Cheesecake)
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup, 130g) Bossin’ Cream Pie 380 calories, 20 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 39 grams of total sugars, and 5 grams of protein. Raspberry Cheesecake – 410 calories, 23 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 37 grams of total sugars, and 6 grams of protein.