REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Salted Caramel Truffle Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Truffle

Just like yours truly in the bedroom, Häagen-Dazs ice cream doesn’t disappoint. I’ve purchased a number of Häagen-Dazs varieties and, just like 99 cent, physics-based iPhone games, they’re really hard to put down and I can’t say I’ve disliked any of them.

The only thing I don’t like about Häagen-Dazs is having to put that damn umlaut above the first “a” and remembering to include the hyphen whenever I type their name.

Häagen-Dazs’ Limited Edition Salted Caramel Truffle ice cream is another Häagen-Dazs flavor I’ve had trouble putting the lid back on and sticking back in the freezer. I want to eat the whole not-quite-a-pint container in one sitting, but I can’t. The only thing that prevents me from doing so is looking at the nutrition facts and calculating how much saturated fat, calories, and sugar I’d be consuming if I did so.

By the way, in case you were wondering, if I did eat the entire container, I’d take in 38.5 grams of saturated fat, or 192.5 percent of my recommended daily allowance; 980 calories; and 87.5 grams of sugar.

If you enjoy caramel, the Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Salted Caramel Truffle ice cream has enough of it that it should be arrested For Unlawful Caramel Knowledge. The ice cream consists of sweet-cream ice cream, salted caramel ribbons, and chocolatey salted caramel truffles. What’s “sweet-cream ice cream”? After tasting it, it’s just a fancy way of saying vanilla ice cream.

Haagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Truffle Closeup

But back to the caramel. The salted caramel ribbons are rich and buttery, but, to be honest, the salted caramel didn’t taste any different from regular caramel. Häagen-Dazs says the French fleur de sel influenced this ice cream, so I was hoping there would be a slight salty crunch, but there wasn’t one.

There are lots of chocolatey salted caramel truffles. In fact, I’ve gone through half of the container, and I’ve been able to scoop one up with each spoonful. Though they’re sitting in frozen cream, the truffles aren’t rock hard, and, surprisingly, they’re more caramel-y than chocolatey in flavor.

Despite all the niggles I have with the Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Salted Caramel Truffle Ice Cream, I really enjoyed it. But that’s because I love caramel. Thank goodness for the FDA-required nutrition label, because without it I’d eat a lot of this delicious ice cream.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 280 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Item: Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Salted Caramel Truffle Ice Cream
Price: $4.69
Size: 14 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: If you love caramel, you’ll enjoy this ice cream. Creamy sweet-cream ice cream. Slightly addictive. FDA-required nutrition labels. Rich and buttery caramel ribbons. Lots of truffles.
Cons: Limited edition flavor available from February to December. No salt granules to provide crunch. Salted caramel doesn’t taste any different than regular caramel. Constantly forgetting how to add an umlaut.

NEWS: Get Your Spoons and Gym Memberships Ready For This Year’s Limited Edition Häagen-Dazs Flavors

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I believe Ben & Jerry’s fun flavor names make them perfectly fine to eat straight out of the container in my underwear. But when it comes to eating Häagen-Dazs’ sophisticated flavors, I feel it’s necessary to serve them in glass bowls with pants on. And this year’s Limited Edition Häagen-Dazs flavors are no different.

From now until the end of the year, you’ll be able to enjoy the following four new Limited Edition Häagen-Dazs flavors:

Coconut Macaroon (available from February to September) is made up of soft, chewy coconut macaroon cookies folded into coconut ice cream. Junk Food Guy has a review of them.

Spiced Caramel Biscuit (available from February to December) consists of cinnamon biscuit crumbles blended into caramel ice cream.

Vanilla Bean Espresso (available from February to December) combines espresso with vanilla ice cream, but you probably knew that by reading its name.

Salted Caramel Truffle (available from February to December) brings together sweet-cream ice cream, salted caramel ribbons, and chocolatey truffles.

All Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition flavors are available in their specially labeled purple containers that aren’t quite a pint. If you can’t find them at the supermarket, they’re also available at Häagen-Dazs shops.

Image via flickr user ElvertBarnes / CC BY 2.0

REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet

Häagen-Dazs Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet

I need a new hobby this summer, so I’m thinking of taking up alcoholism. Illuminating my path to seasonal intoxication is the latest addition to the Häagen-Dazs dessert oeuvre, Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet. I’m not French, but I like this flavor, and I’ve never tasted anything quite like it before. True, it’s not all that original — Ciao Bella also has a Blackberry Cabernet — but I’m not Italian either. So… ça fait rien.

The sorbet is smooth and light and has a delightfully intense purple shade that looks like how I used to picture mead from the ancient times. Or grog. Whichever was the one that kings would get completely smashed on before executing knaves or ordering jesters to do tricks. Anyway, I’ve since learned those drinks were amber, and this sorbet is purple like wine, but that’s okay because I’ve still got some knaves to put down.

On the tongue, there is a discernible tanginess, much like fresh blackberries would taste had they been smashed into a pulp, flash frozen and jammed into a stylish cylinder with pretty sky blue and gold accents. Häagen-Dazs claims that its Blackberry Cabernet sorbet is “a refreshingly elegant sensorial experience” in which “tender ripe blackberries and the distinctive flavor of cabernet grapes combine to create this dark, intense sorbet.”

Häagen-Dazs Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet Innards

That sounds pretty darn sultry. As for its timely, hot-weather introduction, I agree that Häagen-Dazs’s Blackberry Cabernet sorbet is a welcome frozen treat, perfect for the time of year, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a refreshing one — it’s a bit too bold for that.

I guess I am altogether unfamiliar with the natural flavor of cabernet grapes before they’re transformed into wine, or as I’ll surely be referring to it over the next couple months, “Wake-up Juice.” My brain interprets the aftertaste of the Blackberry Cabernet sorbet as honey, but there isn’t any honey in the ingredients list. I guess that’s the only way my taste buds could parse the rich, slightly bitter finish that accompanies the sharp, tangy flavor of the blackberries/grapes. Don’t know what that is, but it’s delish.

That being said, there’s no indication on the carton that there are any fermented ingredients to aid my summertime goal of becoming a wino. Apparently, I was barking up the wrong tree when I looked into Häagen-Dazs’s Blackberry Cabernet sorbet as a delicious new way to stay wrecked 24/7. It’s a tasty, non-alcoholic, and healthy indulgence. It even has only 100 calories per serving. Guess I’ll have to look elsewhere for edibles to aid and abet my downward spiral summer hobby! Cooking sherry, I’m looking at you.

(Nutrition Facts 1/2 cup (102 grams) -100 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 0% vitamin A, 0% calcium, 0% vitamin C and 0% iron.)

Item: Häagen-Dazs Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet
Price: $3.99
Size: 14.0 oz
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Dark and intense. Made of real cabernet grapes and ripe blackberries. Smooth and light texture. Purple. Aftertaste is like the flavor of honey. A nice frozen summer treat. Beheading knaves because you’re drunk.
Cons: Non-alcoholic. Not the color of mead or grog. Too bold to be refreshing. Somebody stumbling upon countless empty bottles of cooking sherry under my bed in September.

NEWS: New Häagen-Dazs Flavors Might Make It Hard For Me To Get Into Speedo Shape This Summer

Haagen Dazs Flavors

I thought we reviewed all the new Häagen-Dazs flavors released this year (Sweet Chai Latte, Caramel Apple Pie, and Blueberry Crumble), but yesterday I learned we didn’t when a Häagen-Dazs press release showed up in my RSS feeds. So I now have to get out my whip made from Red Vines and force TIB’s writers to review more Häagen-Dazs ice cream and desserts. Here are the flavors we haven’t reviewed yet.

Häagen-Dazs Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream: Rich, creamy pumpkin ice cream is balanced with swirls of tart cranberry filling, then lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg – a holiday classic. Flavor Top Notes: Warm pumpkin pie, a zing of nutmeg. Flavor Finish Notes: Tangy cranberry with a hint of spice.

Häagen-Dazs Spiced Peach Crumble Ice Cream (Walmart exclusive): Peak-flavor peaches are cooked to perfection, lightly spiced and stirred into sweet cream with nuggets of buttery crust. Flavor Top Notes: Fruity peaches, warm nutmeg and cinnamon. Flavor Finish Notes: Lingering butter and sweet summer peach.

Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Almond Frozen Yogurt: Crunchy roasted almonds are sliced and blended with rich, indulgent chocolate frozen yogurt.

Häagen-Dazs Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet: Tender, ripe blackberries and the distinctive flavor of cabernet grapes combine to create this dark, intense sorbet.

REVIEW: Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Sweet Chai Latte

Haagen Dazs Sweet Chai Latte Ice Cream

OMG! Slumber party time, you guys!

So I was thinking we’d get together, maybe start the evening with the 3½ J’s of awesomeness: Jammies, Jock Jams, and Justin Timberlake pictures ripped from last month’s Tiger Beat! After that we can break out Häagen-Dazs’ Limited Edition Sweet Chai Latte ice cream and re-watch 2ge+ther! Quinn’s not invited. She knows why.

This is going to be absosmurfly fabtacular!

Heather, you’re in charge of scrunchies and also ranch dip for the pizza. Rizzo, we’ll be using your yearbook this time to add commentary and mustaches to the people we currently hate. Tiffany, this is your last chance with the nail polish selection. Orange and coral are not “sort of” the same thing. Veronica, you can bring the TP for Quinn’s house. And Buffy, you bring the funk.

The highlight of the evening is, totally, this chai ice cream I found. That’s really the whole reason I’m inviting you all over. That, and, I need help getting back at Quinn. Did I mention how awesomely sophisticated this ice cream tastes? It’s literally just like that stuff at Starbucks we drink to look mature without having to endure the redonkulous awfulness of coffee, except they turned it into a dessert. If we all share, that’s only like… well it’s not that many calories per person. And we’ll probably get our exercise running away from Quinn’s house afterward anyway. Everybody remember to pack your dark colored clothing but don’t wear it over here because my parents will get suspicious. ‘Kay?

Oh, sorry, wait…

What year is it?

No, I didn’t hit my head, or at least I don’t think I did. I got in this fight with an upside-down garbage can this morning and, well, it’s all a little blurry.

The point here is that Häagen-Dazs Sweet Chai Latte ice cream takes me way back to the days of my youth and the discovery of coffee houses amongst my group of budding intellectual friends who still worshipped boy bands.

We had a new favorite drink every week back then. Mondo always tasted like fruity plastic packaging. Orbitz was creepily chewy. But chai, that was the good stuff, an accessible beverage both imbibed and endorsed by adults, something with real staying power and just as much sugar as the crap we were already drinking.

We were Southern Illinois girls. Most of us had never experienced what Häagen-Dazs refers to as the “distinctive tastes of India”. World Market was still our idea of “exotic”. Tea for us came from little bags marked “Lipton” and was immediately sweetened to within in an inch of its life. Chai lattes felt so familiar and yet so new. The good ones bore definite black tea undertones with the spice range of a good Germanic Christmas cookie and enough milk and sugar to make one wonder if the barista didn’t accidentally dump in heavy cream. I latched onto the stuff and stuck with it through college.

Yesterday, I found myself milling around the freezer section at Ralph’s, amped up on fair trade Tanzanian Jubilee coffee, when suddenly, the ice cream in question practically leapt out at me. There it sat, perched just above my eye level and slightly off-kilter, a cozy mug of freshly blended chai emblazoned across the front. The package was strikingly soft and pretty, with a purple cap instead of the typical Häagen-Dazs red. Next to the ingredients, Häagen-Dazs helpfully included a guide to the tastes I would be experiencing as I ate their product, divided nicely into “top notes” and “finish notes” as if this were a fine wine instead of an ice cream. The absurd, transparent attempt at classiness charmed me even as it harkened back to the darker side of middle school. I had to take it home. It needed a mentor and a hug.

Haagen Dazs Sweet Chai Latte Ice Cream Bowl

The “top” notes? Basically a spice list: anise, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. And the “finish”? “Cream and lingering spice”. Oh Häagen-Dazs, you had me there until “lingering”. Why dance around the term “aftertaste” if you’re going to leave in “lingering”?

In reality, all those flavors combine into one sweet, and yes, creamy layer that isn’t super licorice-like or pumpkin pie spicy or like anything you may be grasping at to complete your analogy, and the aftertaste is kind of just a complex back-porch sun-brewed sweet tea. It’s distinctively chai. If you like your tea with milk, provided your tea isn’t green or fermented, you will probably enjoy both chai lattes and this ice cream approximation. And if you’re drinking non-traditional teas to begin with, you’re probably adventurous enough to try this anyway, unless you’re lactose intolerant in which case I’m sorry I bothered you. You can go back to your Kombucha now.

Eating this ice cream made me realize just how deeply being an adult has managed to crush my once free spirit. I seriously forgot how utterly devoted I once was to this beverage. On winter evenings, chai thawed me out, perked me up, and made Bleak House and the political parts of Anna Karenina bearable.

Yet, somehow, I let that love fade away. Thanks to the cruelties of the real world, coffee’s insidious and unshakable grip has taken over my life. This ice cream, though, threatens to break that stranglehold and lead me back to my old standard. It’s very creamy, very indulgent, very pretty-pretty princess turned haggard queen watching romantic comedies from 1998 with a guinea pig as her only companion. It’s the kind of comfort food people on TLC bizarre-mega-weight-loss-o-rama night specials would refer to as a true friend.

If you’re able to find a pint in your area, I highly recommend diving into it, maybe even stockpiling a few just in the case they mean business with the “limited edition” label. This might finally be the ice cream we’ve all been looking for that turns regrets into happiness. Maybe. Shut up. IT COULD HAPPEN.

(Nutrition Facts – ½ cup – 250 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 45 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 21 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 10% calcium, 10% Vitamin A, 0% Vitamin C and 0% iron.)

Item: Häagen-Dazs Limited Edition Sweet Chai Latte
Price: $3.99
Size: 14 ounces
Purchased at: Ralph’s Fresh Fare
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: Ranch dip. 2ge+ther. Revenge. Mom’s sweet tea. Package tries adorably hard to appear mature. Ice cream made of real, identifiable ingredients. German Christmas cookie spices. Creaminess. My pet guinea pig.
Cons: Junior high. Time travel tangents. Evil trash cans blocking garage doors I want to open. The cruel realities of adulthood. Contains many more calories than an iced chai latte while accomplishing the same goals. Lactose intolerant sector once again snubbed. Nightmares caused by TLC specials.