Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: Chapman's "Hokey Pokey" Ice Cream

First off, we'd like to give a big shout out to Dubba from On Second Scoop - thanks to him linking our blog in one of his posts, we got a huge influx of traffic, and this blog has now been viewed by people in seven different countries! Wow, talk about the power of networking! If you are unfamiliar with his blog, go check it out, it's great!

On to today's review of Chapman's "Hokey Pokey", one of their premium label ice creams, and if you're wondering what the name could possibly mean, Chapman's describes it as "toffee ice cream with chocolatey covered sponge toffee pieces and a milk chocolate ribbon." But will the flavour have us wanting to do the dance of the same name? Well that remains to be seen...
You put your right foot in...
You take your right foot out...
OK, so upon opening this guy up, it looks pretty unimpressive. We can see a lot of toffee ice cream, approximately three little chocolatey covered (insert obligatory comment about how it's not real chocolate here) sponge toffee pieces, and the beginnings of that milk chocolate swirl. Doesn't look promising, but I think we have learned that the top layer can be deceiving.
...and you shake it all about!
Alright, that's what I'm talkin' about! Much better distribution further down! I appreciate that the milk chocolate swirl seems to be mostly in the middle, because if you don't like it all that much, you have the option of eating around it. Probably won't give you the best idea of what Hokey Pokey is all about (OK, I swear, I'm almost done on the awful hokey pokey references...), but it's nice to have that flexibility.

Once we dug in and started to eat this ice cream, it became clear what Hokey Pokey is all about: sponge toffee. It says "toffee" flavoured ice cream on the label, but that's a pretty broad flavour. I mean you could have butter toffee, English toffee, molasses toffee... But this flavour is unmistakeably the rich caramelized sugar taste of sponge toffee. I remember actually exclaiming "Dude, this tastes like sponge toffee!" in excitement before I remembered that that was the whole idea. The texture of the ice cream is creamy, and very soft, which seems to be a trend among Chapman's products.

The picture on the bucket is a bit misleading in terms of the chocolatey covered sponge toffee pieces. In the photo they appear to be mostly sponge toffee, whereas in the actual ice cream they are overwhelmingly chocolatey coating. OK, let's be fair, it was inconsistent. But typically if you were getting a larger piece, it was because there was more chocolatey coating, not because you'd be getting more sponge toffee. To give an idea of how big the average piece of toffee was, here is a (very blurry) penny comparison.
Picture-taking skills of FAIL

The milk chocolate swirl is very, very sweet. Both J and I sampled this ice cream numerous times before this review was written (because it's a 2L bucket, and we can only eat so fast!), and each time we had a slightly different opinion. And each time, that opinion correlated with how sweet we thought this product was. When you don't get a ton of swirl in your serving, you get the nice flavour of the ice cream with the occasional crunch of the chocolatey covered toffee bits, and the sugar is manageable. When you get a lot of swirl, this stuff is a diabetes in a cup. Neither of us have a huge sweet tooth, but we can still appreciate fairly sweet things. Depending on the ice cream-to-swirl ratio you receive, Hokey Pokey can be complete sugar overkill.

On our last sampling, J and I were ready to give this ice cream a total pass because of how sweet it was. But after finishing the last of it this morning (which had less of the swirl), I'm inclined to go easier on it. I don't know, maybe my taste buds are deader in the morning or something, but with mostly just the ice cream and sponge toffee bits, it wasn't half bad.

Recommend to a friend? If you like sponge toffee, definitely. If you're not sure, but you like to finish your sugary treats by entering into a diabetic coma, then also definitely. If you have a real sweet tooth, this ice cream will have you dancing the hokey pokey. Otherwise, it may not be your best bet.
Repurchase? J: No B: No, it was too much for us.

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