The frozen aisle is one I normally miss in Marks & Spencers, truth be told it’s usually because by the time I get to that end of the shop my basket is filled with all sorts of other goodies but thanks to the untold amounts of “Spirit Of Summer” products, all the sushi in my store has been shoved at the back by the freezers so I got a good look this week.
I couldn’t make up my mind so Mr.1T took charge on this weeks ice cream purchase choosing the Salted Caramel Blondie Brownie Dairy Ice Cream.
Dairy caramel ice cream swirled with salted caramel sauce, digestive biscuits and blondie brownies.
He liked the idea of caramel and white chocolate brownies but I was more looking forward to the digestive biscuits. At last! A biscuit addition that isn’t a cookie or an Oreo!
M&S own brand stuff are usually of a better quality than most supermarkets, and coupled with the fact that once it’s no longer on introductory offer it will be the same price as Ben & Jerrys, it had high expectations to meet.
Initially it didn’t look good, a very plain ice cream with one tiny swirl, though I’ve been on a B&J binge lately so I have been spoilt and I was hoping it wouldn’t be this plain the whole way through. In fairness, if it had been advertised as a plain caramel ice cream I wouldn’t have been disappointed at all, the addition of double cream gives it a beautiful thick and creamy texture with a silky smooth feel right off the bat. Granted it’s not quite B&J or Häagen-Dazs quality but it’s not far off. The caramel flavour is delicious, sweet with a slightly burnt caramel taste and is nice and strong, again it’s much nicer than any other supermarket caramel I’ve tried and probably on a par with the higher end mass produced stuff.
Lots of own brand ice creams include a swirl of sauce and a lot of them probably shouldn’t bother. They tend to be thin, overly sweet and don’t always taste like much other than sugar. That’s not the case here, it’s ridiculously sticky and runny and is much more of a thick syrup than a sauce. I was pleasantly surprised to find it had that gooey texture from the get go and stayed as more of a liquid despite being frozen but the further I got into the pint the more it improved regardless.
The one thing I didn’t expect was a decent salted caramel flavour. As I mentioned, lots of sauces are really just an extra burst of sugar but here it’s more of a concentrated caramel, it’s lovely and strong with a salty edge to it. The salt aspect comes from added sea salt and although it’s not massively salty it’s more than enough to notice and certainly has that addictiveness that left me searching for more.
Blondie Brownies aren’t a new concept, we don’t see actual Blondies enough but Ben & Jerry’s have got the ice cream side covered nicely with Blondie Brownie. The blondies in the M&S tub were pleasingly massive with a perfect brownie texture – quite firm and chewy with no change in quality from being frozen. I wondered if I’d notice the flavour over the strong caramels from the ice cream sauce but I did and again, it was delicious. Sweet with a distinct white chocolate flavour that could well have been too much but ended up being just right. I’d have been hard pressed telling the difference between these and those found in B&J’s Blondie Brownie to be honest.
Finally the digestive biscuits. The part I was looking most forward to sadly was the least used ingredient, technically only making up 4% of the total product. I did have to dig around to find them, as not only were they few in number but they were on the small side too. Texturally they were good, hard and crunchy to counter the smooth ice cream and squidgy brownies but that’s it for the positives. I was looking forward to a distinct digestive flavour but they could have been any biscuit and they might well have been, the pieces were too small for me to have a good look at!
Let down right at the very end by some un-digestivey tasting digestives which is a massive shame as it was otherwise pretty perfect!