Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Orleans Cafe Au Lait & Beignets Ice Cream

Well, New Orleans Ice Cream Company has done it again. Somehow, through the magic of food science, they've made me almost enjoy something I despise. You guys know I hate coffee ice cream, but they've found a way to dial it back in such a way that I actually took more than three small bites! For me, that's huge.  It's a brave new world people.

New Orleans Ice Cream Company Cafe Au Lait & Beignets
"The famous taste of the old New Orleans French Market,
with cold brewed coffee & the toasty flavor of scalded milk,
loaded with real beignet pieces, & finished with a sugary swirl"

Yeah, I went with the sniff test first, and to be honest, I'm not really picking up coffee scents.

Here's a little further down.

I had a few of the smaller beignets (Wiki) first, but they aren't doing alot for me. I just can't really taste them over the base, nor am I picking up a big texture change with them, but keep in mind I am very distracted by the fluctuating coffee flavor. (see the second scoop for clarity on this comment)

You're probably wondering what this is, since it looks like white chocolate, but it's actually the very solid sugary swirl. Have no fear, it may be solid but it's not like it tastes like a sugar cube, it's more subtle than that. Ofcourse, I wish it was white chocolate because I would really dig that smooth, white chocolate thud right about now.

I'm now several bites in and I'm shocked I'm still eating this one. Despite some flavor intensity changes, overall they've really dialed the flavor back so us non-coffee folks can enjoy this one too. My only problem right now is the distinct coffee aftertaste. Most of you won't care, but it's not something I enjoy personally. That said... and all things considered, I'm still really impressed. I've literally had a whole serving, that's a new record for me and it says a ton about the quality and nuanced approach that has gone into this pint.

You know what? This easy going coffee flavor makes me tempted to throw this into a caramel covered breakfast sundae. I think that a caramel blast (and some whipcream) would make this a bit more enjoyable for me. Still, I gotta say, nice job New Orleans! Yet again you make me want to like things that I really don't like :)


On Second Scoop: Even making a breakfast sundae can lead to further insights into an ice cream sometimes. When I tried this the first time, I was hit by varying levels of coffee flavor, but I didn't really stop to think about where it was coming from. When I went to make the sundae, I snagged a few beignet pieces that were sitting on top and realized these bits must have been drenched in coffee flavor. All the intense coffee flavor was coming from them. The base itself is indeed mild, it's the chunks that throw in the coffee flare ups here and there. Sometimes you can judge a flavor by a few bites, and other times you just have to stick with it until it all makes sense. Hmmm, would it be wrong to take the beignets out? Just saying, if I do that, I think I might just finish this pint all by myself.

Verdict?  A nice mild take on coffee (sans beignets anyway)

2 comments:

Adam said...

Have you ever had a real Beignets? I've been to Cafe du Monde and found the texture a bit heavy for something fried, but they're absolutly murdered with powdered sugar that all can be forgiven.

Cafe Au Lait is really very mild given the milk. I wonder what kind of coffee they use? New Orleans coffee is a bit easier on the stomach because of the chicory.

Dubba said...

nope, well, i don't think i've had beignets that I can recall.

you can tell I almost liked this flavor right? i've never seriously considered eating more than a few bites of coffee ice cream, but this one almost hooks me in.