Taste Test - Chocolate Ice Cream
Häagen-Dazs Belgian Chocolate
£2 for 100ml tub ●●●●
This surprised a few in the blind tasting, who were expecting something more artificial from this worldwide brand. In fact, the silky texture, rich taste and genuine chocolate flavour were fairly compelling and the flecks of chocolate through the ice-cream gave it an aftertaste that was even better than the first mouthful. It's probably better viewed as a luxury dessert than an ice cream for the beach.
Green & Black's Organic Chocolate
£1.39 for 100ml tub ●●
Mars and Snickers did it, so why not the posh chocolates too? This is the ice cream version of the market leading organic chocolate bar, except that its texture is so light it's really more of a cold mousse than an ice cream. Any dairy content is overwhelmed by the taste of dark, bitter, high cocoa-content chocolate. One taster said, 'If I wanted this taste, I'd just buy the chocolate bar'.
Orkney Luxury Dairy Chocolate
£1.30 for 100ml tub ●
A bit of a disappointment all round. While it's well marketed, our tasters were blind to the brands they were trying. However, a few of our tasters reckoned that had they been blindfolded completely they wouldn't necessarily have realised this was chocolate. Peely wally in colour as well as flavour, the ultra-smooth texture meant it was more like a soft-serve ice cream.
S Luca Chocolate
£1.55 for 170ml tub ●●●
Often hailed as an essential taste of Edinburgh, Luca's chocolate is actually made in Musselburgh. The Italian tradition (in Scotland at least) is for a milkier rather than creamier mix, which is obvious here, giving it a lightness and smoothness that isn't governed by the texture of the ice cream. Well-balanced in texture and flavour, it's a sure crowd pleaser on a sunny day by the Firth of Forth.
Cream O'Galloway Chocolate To Die For
£1.39 for 120ml tub ●●●●●
Apart from the colour, a slightly off-putting greyish brown, this organic, farmhouse ice cream from Dumfries & Galloway edged ahead thanks to its freshness, reassuring texture and pleasant, rounded flavour. Creamy sweetness balances well with the chocolate taste without overpowering the palate. Chunks of fudge cake in the mix may make the purists frown, but they're not overdone.
Thortonhall Farmhouse Chocolate
£1.30 for 100ml tub ●●●
This is made on the wonderfully named Meikle Dripps Farm just south of Glasgow and sold in small quantities to local delis and restaurants, or from their stall at Clarkston farmers' market. It has a natural dairy creaminess none of the others can match, the richness underlined with free range eggs in the recipe. It melts quickly in the mouth, making it feel a tad too heavy, though it's not overly sweet.