Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: New Orleans Ice Cream Company Cafe Au Lait & Beignets Ice Cream

So the New Orleans Ice Cream Company string of reviews finally ends continues as I go onto another review from the free shipment of pints that I received and that leads me to this review of the New Orleans Ice Cream Company Cafe Au Lait & Beignets Ice Cream.  I've had experience reviewing coffee flavored ice cream pints before when I reviewed Starbucks' Caramel Macchiato and wasn't particularly fond of it, so I've purposely held this one for last because of that reason.  Before I dive into this, the nutrition information includes four half-cup servings at a reasonable 200 calories per serving.

This pint's description starts off with another humorous description as it describes this the famous taste of the Old New Orleans French Market.  What that famous taste includes is an ice cream that has the flavor of coffee and scalded milk that is loaded with real beignet pieces and finished with a sugary swirl.  If you aren't familiar with what beignet is, well, it's sort of comparable to a cinnamon bun treat and New Orleans is extremely famous for them.  I've never been to New Orleans, but I've seen beignets on television several times and each time I see one, I want to eat my television screen.  I can not only confirm that all these ingredients were present in the pint, but they were all there in spades.  The beignet pieces were about the size of a small peanut and were soft and doughy.  The sugary swirl, which I would expect would be synonymous with the powdered sugar that normal is dumped all over a normal beignet was also plentiful.  The ice cream itself had a mild smell of coffee and the scalded milk made it smell almost caramel like.  Caramel smell, tons of beignet pieces and additional sugar...I was incredibly anxious to dive in, despite my prior reservations.

I'm glad the appearance and smell of the pint made my prior reservations go away, because I'm so happy I dove into this that I can barely describe it.  The ice cream itself had a taste of coffee, without being overly coffee like in its bitterness.  In fact, it was actually mild and I think that was helped a lot by the caramel-like flavor brought by the scaled milk.  The doughy beignet pieces were soft, chewy and sugary and frankly, every time I encountered one was a little bit like heaven.  The addition of the sugary swirl pushed this one over the top as it too something that had a mild/burnt caramel flavor and took it the extra mile by bringing a needed dimension of sweetness to the pint.  In fact, I would say that this sugary swirl was less like powdered sugar on top of a beignet and more like the icing on top of a cinnamon roll.

Buy It or Fly By It?  I'm just going to get straight to the point when I say this was honestly one of the best pints of ice cream that I've ever had, so this gets a huge BUY IT rating.  It's comparable to Ben & Jerry's Cinnamon Buns flavor that I've reviewed (and loved) previously and any time you can get a comparison to something that I hold in as high of esteem as that one, you've got a winner.  In reality, eating this pint of ice cream was like eating a delightful breakfast, except in ice cream form as the ice cream gave you an almost mocha taste and the beignet pieces replaced your breakfast pastry (or cinnamon bun).  This entire thing was a dream come true and just so I don't ruin my keyboard by slobbering all over it as I type this, I'm going to end the review by saying that you need to do whatever you can to get your hands on this.  You will not regret it.

Other reviews:  The Ice Cream Informant.

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