From the category archives:

Flavor: Vanilla Ice Cream

Magnum Ice Cream: Now in US (and as tasty as ever!)

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on March 28, 2011

Magnum Ice Cream Bars, which I’ve devoured while abroad (most notable was sampling Magnum on the Aran Islands in Ireland), are now available in the United States.

The folks at Magnum sent me some for review. I was worried that the US bars wouldn’t live up to my expectations – that they would somehow become  Americanized – filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup and be less rich tasting. But, after now trying 3 of the 6 flavors available I can assure you that they taste just as great as they do anywhere else in the world. (Although there is something fantastic about eating a delicious ice cream bar while staring off over the ocean that I just can’t quite capture in my own backyard.)

The oce cream bars are made from the finest ingredients and will be available in six divine flavors: Classic, Almond, Double Chocolate, Double Caramel, White and Dark.

I sampled the Classic, Almond, and Double Chocolate. They were all wonderful in their own ways. Although the Double Chocolate stood out and possibly because they undersold it – it should really be called Triple Chocolate. There is chocolate ice cream surrounded by an amazingly textured, and just the right thickness, fudge layer, surrounded by the traditional chocolate coating. If you ask me that’s 3 layers of Chocolate! The vanilla bean ice cream in the bars helps to make these the best ice cream bars that are available commercially in the US. I think they even top the Dove miniature bars which have always held the best ice cream bar category in mind mind.

Moreover, Magnum has collaborated to produce a series of films at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here’s the scoop:

To celebrate the Magnum lifestyle, the brand has collaborated with global icon and creative visionary Karl Lagerfeld to create, produce and direct a series of three films, starring actress and style-setting starlet Rachel Bilson.  The three films, “Photo Mood,” “Applause,” and “Art Class,” will premiere at an exclusive event during the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21. Simultaneous to the premiere during Tribeca, the lead film will be released to fans on Magnum’s Facebook page, and the two subsequent films will make their Facebook debut in the weeks to follow.

So there you have it, now you don’t need to travel abroad to get your favorite ice cream bar, just watch for it on the shelves of your grocery store in the coming months.

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Breyers French Vanilla Ice Cream Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on November 10, 2006

Breyers Ice Cream was on sale again at Safeway: buy one- get one free. I couldn’t pass up a good deal. I bought some French Vanilla and some Mint-Chocolate Chip. You’ll have to wait for the review of the mint-chip, as today I’ll tell you about the French Vanilla.

Breyers French Vanilla is similar to Breyers Vanilla Bean in that it had vanilla bean specks and now our favorite tara gum. But, it tastes thicker, creamier, and custard-like. (And has a few more grams of fat and calories than the natural vanilla.) Not knowing what makes “French Vanilla” “French” I Googled it. Answer Bag had the answer:

“What is “french vanilla”? What is different about it from regular vanilla?”

Chef Ottevanger answered:

“The difference is lots more egg yolks.”

This makes sense when one considers that French Vanilla is actually “not a type of vanilla. It is a term used to describe an egg-custard base for ice cream.”

Also:

“French vanilla” is often used to designate preparations that actually have a strong vanilla aroma, and possibly contain vanilla grains.”

So, there you have it. French Vanilla has more egg yolks which would explain the texture feel and taste. It’s a good flavor to try if you’re in the mood for plain vanilla ice cream. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for malts, sundaes, etc. It’s too strong.

  • Flavor: 4
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Originality: 1.5
  • Texture: 4
  • Overall: 4
  • Cost: 5.99 or free (buy one get one free sale at Safeway)

Breyers French Vanilla Ice Cream

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Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on October 30, 2006

A long time ago I reviewed Haagen Dazs’ Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (and loved it!). I didn’t realize until recently that I had never reviewed their regular vanilla so I picked some up at the store this weekend. Haagen Dazs Vanilla is very good. It’s extremely dense and smooth. It’s strongly vanilla flavored, but richer than the Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The Vanilla Bean flavor kind of dances around on your tongue, while the regular vanilla just sits there. In general, I’m more of a fan of vanilla bean flavored ice cream than plain vanilla. Like other Haagen Dazs ice cream, there are no gums or artificial ingredients just: Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, and Natural Vanilla. But, also in Haagen Dazs fashion, this one packs in the fat and calories. If you ask me, Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream is worth it.

  • Flavor: 4.5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Texture: 5
  • Originality: 1
  • Overall: 4.5
  • Cost: $3.00 (on special at Safeway)

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Taste Test: Breyers Natural Vanilla Bean with and without Tara Gum

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on October 16, 2006

Now that the tara gum and other additive controversy has taken hold, I have made a point to check labels when at the supermarket. Not long ago I was at Whole Foods and noticed that their Breyers Natural Vanilla didn’t have tara gum in it. I immediately purchased it. At home I compared it to the Breyers Natural Vanilla I already had in my freezer (with tara gum). The containers look virtually identical (though not quite). However, the expiration date on the more recently purchased ice cream (without tara gum) was 6 months earlier than the date for the container with tara gum. This lead me to conclude that either a) the ice cream I had gotten without tara gum was made before the ice cream with tara gum and had just been distributed later b) the ice cream without tara gum goes bad more quickly than that without and/or c) Whole Foods can still get the ice cream without the tara gum. Quite frankly, I have no idea what the answer is. I can, however, tell you the difference in taste as I tasted them side by side (in a blind taste test so I didn’t initially know which was which).

Breyers with tara gum tastes different than that without. No question. It is creamier, but not it a good way. It has an artificial texture to it. You know when you’re eating the inside of an Oreo or Twinkie and you just know it isn’t natural, it’s got a lard-ish texture, creamy, but in a sticky way. That’s what it feels like– a little sticky. It also tastes slightly less intensely vanilla. I’m not sure if that is because of the tara gum or a new freezing method. Breyers Natural Vanilla with tara gum doesn’t taste like Breyers Natural Vanilla anymore. It reminds me more of the yellow-colored artificial vanilla ice creams. It’s not nearly as bad as those, but it’s not very good. Unilever needs to bring back Breyers Natural Vanilla Bean without tara gum.

From now on I am going to start buying Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean. I don’t know how extensive their distribution is in DC I have only found it at Shoppers. But, it doesn’t have tara gum and tastes much better than the new Breyers. Actually, my top choice for vanilla would be Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean. Unfortunately, that has too many calories for a daily scoop. What other gum-free vanilla ice cream brands have you found that you would recommend?

The ice cream container on top contains tara gum, the one pictured below it does not.

Two Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream Review Breyers Ice Cream with Tara GumBreyers Ice Cream without tara gum

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McDonald’s Ice Cream Review (17th and R NW, DC)

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on October 16, 2006

I realized that I have never posted a review of McDonald’s Soft Serve Ice Cream before. Considering there is a McDonald’s right down the street from me (on 17th and R) it’s kind of surprising. So, today I’m reviewing McDonald’s Ice Cream.

McDonald’s seems to be pushing their ice cream more and more. Besides the relatively recent addition of McFlurrys, they also now have Oreo Sundaes, cookie sundaes and a few others. I went for the plain hot fudge sundae on their dollar menu. So, for $1.10, I got a hot fudge sundae and a small bag of peanuts. I found the bag of peanuts particularly interesting. I don’t remember ever getting this before.

The soft serve ice cream at McDonald’s is something I’ve always loved. It’s pretty smooth, it’s creamy, and it’s cheap. The hot fudge is also excellent. I was surprised as sometimes hot fudge really isn’t that good. Overall, it was well worth the trip down the block.

  • Flavor: 4
  • Flavor Intensity: 3
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 2.5
  • Overall: 4
  • Price: $1.10

McDonald's McDonald's Peanuts

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Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on October 14, 2006

Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean comes out of Lancaster County, PA. I discovered it at Shopper’s and bought it specifically because it didn’t have any gums or artificial ingredients. I’m glad I bought it. It is spectacular. It’s much lighter and fluffier than most vanilla ice cream (especially compared to Haagen Dazs) but that also means it’s lighter in calories. It’s extremely creamy and I’m their new biggest fan.

  • Flavor: 4.5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Texture: 4.5
  • Originality: 1
  • Overall: 4.5

Turkey Hill Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Scoop 105: Homemade Molten Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream Review

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on September 10, 2006

Today’s review is possibly more about the dessert I made tonight than the ice cream I served with it.  Molten lava cake with vanilla ice cream was possibly the most amazing thing I’ve eaten in a long time.  We had some friends over for dinner and made Gorgonzola and spinach risotto and chocolate molten cake for dessert.  I have had cakes like this in restaurants and made one once a number of years ago.  The idea recently came back to me and I decided to give it a shot. Only a few ingredients comprise this cake; you severely under cook it and serve it up a few scoops of ice cream and viola– absolutely amazing.  The vanilla ice cream I used (Breyers Natural Vanilla) complemented it well.  The chocolate and melted ice cream swirl together to cream perfectly balanced creamy, vanilla and chocolaty, hot and cold bites.  The ice cream melts almost entirely because of the temperature of the cake and only a few solid chunks of ice cream remain.  This is a must for any dinner party, especially since it can be made ahead of time and cooked while coffee is being made and dishes being cleared.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Texture: 4
  • Originality: 3.5
  • Overall: 5
  • Ease to make: 2.5

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Scoop 74: Wendy’s New Vanilla Frosty

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on August 8, 2006

I don’t particularly enjoy fast food, but when I’m on a road trip (and more or less forced to eat it) I prefer Wendy’s.  I could tell you the whole long story about our drive back from Cape Cod and how I was holding out for a Wendy’s of which they don’t seem to have on I-95 in Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York and how it wasn’t until 3 in the afternoon in Delaware that we finally discovered one, but I won’t bore you with the details.  What’s important is that we finally found one and I got my Wendy’s.  And what’s great about it is I got a FREE Frosty.

I ordered my usual medium chocolate Frosty but when the woman poured it and handed it to me I noticed it was off-white in color.  I didn’t really think about and said, “Did they change the color of the Frosty?”  She realized her mistake and poured me a chocolate; but she also gave me the vanilla one for free!  So, I got two Frosty’s.  Surprisingly the Vanilla Frosty was quite good.  It tasted a lot like a McDonald’s soft serve cone (that artificial, but not grossly artificial vanilla flavor).  It had the same consistency as a Chocolate Frosty and all-in-all I was impressed.  In fact, I ate more of the vanilla than of the chocolate.  Next time you’re at Wendy’s give it a try.

  • Flavor: 4
  • Flavor Intensity: 4
  • Texture: 3.5
  • Originality: 2
  • Overall: 4
  • Cost: FREE (for me) usually 99 cents

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Scoop 68: Nestle Drumstick

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on August 2, 2006

Since Edy’s Sundae Crunch didn’t satisfy my craving for a Drumstick, I thought I should get the real thing.  So, on my drive up to Cape Cod I stopped at a 711 to pick one up.  They had a ton of ice cream options, including my Drumstick.  But, only came in King Size.  Do American’s really need a King Size Drumstick with 450 calories and 27 grams of fat???  I know I don’t, but I bought it any way.

My memory served me right:  I love these things.  They are rich and creamy and crunchy and chocolatey.  Downright delicious.  The ice cream tastes extremely artificially flavored (vanilla), but that’s ok with me.  It hard to believe how creamy they can make this ice cream.  It’s almost like soft serve.  After eating off the top chocolate and nuts and having a few bites of ice cream on top of the cone, I decided to forgo the plain ice cream calories and get right to the good stuff.  The greatest thing about the Drumstick is everything that’s in the cone.  Layers of chocolate and ice cream and a chocolate core.  Very yummy.  And the cone itself is amazing.  I don’t know why everyone can’t have cones that tastes as good and crunchy as the Drumstick cone.  Of course, the inner chocolate lining helps.  As usual, the bottom was the best part.  A little bit of ice cream, a solid base of chocolate (which serves the dual purpose of taste and preventing dripping), and the crunchy cone.  If I ever had an ice cream vending machine, I would stock it only with Drumsticks.

  • Flavor: 5
  • Flavor Intensity: 3
  • Texture: 5
  • Originality: 4
  • Cone: 5
  • Overall: 5
  • Cost: $2.29

Nestle Drumstick

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Scoop 63: Edy’s Slow Churned French Vanilla

by Ice Cream Maker Reviews on July 28, 2006

I actually said “wow” when I tasted this ice cream.  Not because it’s the greatest vanilla ice cream out there, but because there are only 100 calories and 3.5 grams of fat in a half a cup of it.  Seeing as I’ve been eating Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs with 300 calories and 20 grams of fat in a half a cup, this is unbelievably better for me.  Now this ice cream doesn’t even begin to compare with full fat ice creams, but if you were adding hot fudge or putting Edy’s Slow Churned Vanilla on apple pie, it wouldn’t really matter.  The Edy’s vanilla that I’m reviewing today is French vanilla with specks of real vanilla bean.  I can’t remember a time I’ve had French vanilla ice cream that has vanilla beans in it.  The flavor is pretty good, but not amazingly vanillay.  It isn’t rich, instead it’s light and fluffy.  Thus, it doesn’t melt in your mouth quite the same way regular hard ice cream does.  Edy’s Slow Churned French Vanilla tastes remarkably better than any low fat ice cream I’ve ever had.

  • Flavor: 4
  • Flavor Intensity: 2.5
  • Texture: 3.5
  • Originality: 2
  • Overall: 4
  • Cost: $5.79 at Safeway

Edy's French Vanilla

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Scoop 57: Ben and Jerry’s Fudge Central

July 22, 2006

The chocolate fudge in Ben and Jerry’s Fudge Central is just like hot fudge. Except it’s not hot. But it is this awesome “core” in the middle of the ice creams that is rich and gooey and fudgey. The chocolate ice cream with white fudge chunks and the the vanilla bean with chocolate fudge chunks [...]

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Scoop 56: Skinny Cow Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich

July 21, 2006

I told you I’d be trying the other half of my Skinny Cow Variety Pack soon. Unfortunately, at some point the ice cream sandwiches got melted a little and thus, any smooth texture was ruined.  However, the flavor was still pretty decent.  I still wouldn’t choose this ice cream over regular ice cream, but if [...]

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Scoop 50: Vanilla Custard Turtle Sundae at Culver’s in Buffalo, MN

July 15, 2006

Oh how I have missed Culver’s Frozen Custard.  One of the greatest things about going to the cabin has always been stopping at Culver’s in Buffalo on the way.  Culver’s is a Wisconsin based family owned chain.  The always have three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and the flavor of the day.  Today I mixed it up [...]

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Scoop 48: Ice Cream Sandwich at Wildfire in Eden Prarie, MN

July 13, 2006

I’m in Minneapolis this weekend for my mom’s birthday. Tonight we went to a nice restaurant in Eden Prairie called Wildfire. After stuffing myself with too much “regular” food, it came time for dessert. Among the desserts we ordered were ice cream sandwiches. These weren’t ordinary ice cream sandwiches, but sandwiches made from Ghirardelli brownies, [...]

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Scoop 41: Safeway Select Vanilla Ice Cream

July 6, 2006

Sometimes there’s a lot to say about something mediocre; sometimes there’s very little to say. This time there is less than little. This store brand ice cream is about what one would expect from store brand ice cream. It’s creamy and rich, but the flavor isn’t great. The vanilla tasted very artificial. That about sums [...]

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