Monday, April 7, 2014

Steve's Brooklyn Blackout Cake Ice Cream #32

[By Nick] With only two flavors left from my free shipment of Steve's ice cream, I decided to go with something we’ve yet to see: Chocolate. And boy does it sound like they brought it in...

(Formerly) Steve's Bklyn Blackout Ice Cream
(2015) Steve's Brooklyn Blackout Cake Ice Cream
milk chocolate ice cream swirled with 
chocolate stout cake pieces and dark chocolate pudding

To be honest, this sounds like a more sophisticated version of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy. Just exchange the pudding ice cream for swirls of dark chocolate pudding and the chocolate cookies for chocolate stout cake pieces from the NYC bakery ovenly.

Admittedly, I have no idea what chocolate stout cake is. I think stout has something to do with beer but I’m not quite sure. Thankfully, Google exist for such reasons. So it is basically a chocolate cake made with stout beer to add more dimension to the flavor. It also says the cake is extremely moist which is a good thing to me. There’s nothing worse than a dry, crumbly cake chunk. Since I’m not accustomed to alcoholic beverages, I’m curious as well as hesitant to find out what kind of impact it will have on the flavor.

Like always, their clear packaging leaves little to the imagination so let’s dig right in.

Well they all can’t be winners. The milk chocolate base is one of the better chocolate ice creams you’ll find. The flavor is definitely of the milk variety but not some substandard Hershey bar. It’s also one of the denser options I’ve sampled from Steve’s.

The problem is that’s basically all that is going on in my pint. I was wrong, there is such a thing worse than dry cake chunks, no cake chunks at all. The chocolate stout cake pieces are practically nonexistent. What cake pieces I do encounter are so tiny that they have no impact to the flavor or texture.

The dark chocolate pudding is the worst offender though. While it does have a deep dark flavor, it’s very icy. You know how fruit swirls can get? Well that’s what we have going on here.  Also for some odd reason it’s only found on the side of the container. I was expecting it to be swirled into the ice cream but that’s not the case.

I’m going to chalk this one up to bad luck. After trying three of the other flavors, I can’t help but feel like I got a bum pint. I don’t think I could envision this being what Steve’s was going for. If you’ve tried this flavor, please leave a comment letting me know if my experience was an abnormality or what you got as well.

Dubba's 2015 Note: Man, my first bite couldn't have been more different then my last bite, but first things first. First I have to talk about texture because it was smooth, super smooth, like no ice cream I've had before smooth. I wasn't expecting it to be this dense and it was a little shocking really. The taste of base is just this really mild chocolate flavor. These were my first of many bites and they were a little too flat for my liking really. The cake bits? Yeah, I got those. They are a decent size but are indeed quite dry. Not as in dried out, but as in quite dense and lacking a lot of oil or anything. Lastly I did hit a bit of that swirl he mentioned at the end of my serving. It's like a super concentrated Hershey's syrup. It's way too powerful to be eaten on it's on, but when you get the base with the swirl with a cake chunk? Yeah, a big epic powerhouse of flavor that has layers of chocolate flavor. I'm sure that's what they are going for it's just a shame I had to dig down at least a quarter of the way to get to that point. I'll check back in when I finish the pint..... I'm back and I just hit the icy swirl like Nick was complaining about. The swirl on the edge melted fine yesterday, but there is some swirl further in the center and yeah, it's really odd when you hit it. I'll give this one a so-so rating. The ultra-dense base with the cake bits arent bad, but factoring in the swirl funk,  I'll say proceed with caution.

Verdict?  There’s so much wasted potential
Buy Again?  If my experience was in fact a fluke I would consider it (I say nah)


Ice Cream Connoisseur said...

Maybe you got a bum pint but I've had a lot of ice cream and I can tell you that Steve's is just not that good. The texture is generally strange and the quality really varies from pint to pint - it's very inconsistent. They seem to be trying to be a "fancy" ice cream but their flavors and ingredients seem to be of low quality.

Nick Rovo said...

ICC, I have to respectfully disagree with you. I've had plenty of ice cream as well and Steve's quality is definitely above most super premium brands. Being from New York, I do know most of the companies in which they source their ingredients from and they're far from low-quality operations. I can see the variety in pint quality since they aren't a mass-produced company. Even Jeni's consistency isn't perfect if you were to read my review of their brown butter almond brittle ice cream. Everyone has their own opinion though and I appreciate your comment.

stride4unit E said...

The description sounded so incredible that it captivated my attention, too. I would have high expectations just as you did and it just sucks when you expect something this appealing to turn into a dud. I have never had Chocolate Therapy but since I prefer cake over cookies, I would have tried this before I tried Chocolate Therapy if this brand existed in my neck of the woods.

I would like to see more companies use pudding swirls in ice cream in the future. I've combined ice cream with vanilla pudding before and the results have been pretty darn tasty.

Benjamin said...

I just bought a pint of the chocolate salted caramel as it was a new product locally here in NM. I used to go sometimes when my brother was at Harvard about 30 years ago and bought it for nostalgia's sake. It is horrible. Huge overrun, much more than other premium brands (i.e. lots of air which makes it more fluffy than dense), and the flavors were really poorly conceived and blended. Just tasted like a salty frozen foam with a faint hint of chocolate. Didn't work at all. Leaving it at my in-laws.

Anonymous said...

I had the same experience of it being icy and bland. The description on the container sounded so delicious and rich, but it was a disappointment. I bought it in Northern CA.

Anonymous said...

Just had Steve's chocolate salted caramel - disliked the flavor & texture. Chocolate flavor was akin to instant hot cocoa, very weak. Experience on par with bargain brands, only a worse option since pricier.

Jilian V. said...

Yeah I am not a fan of Steve's Ice Cream. I just finished the Salty Caramel, and WOHA is it salty. The ice cream itself has an ok taste, but it leaves a thick gross coating on my lips and teeth. The caramel swirl tastes like it has a pound of salt in it.. Disappointed in this brand.

Nick Rovo said...

Jilian, was that your only experience with Steve's? I wouldn't dismiss a brand entirely based on one experience. I'd highly recommend you give their strawberry ricotta or sunday morning flavors a shot before completely writing them off.

Julz said...

I really liked this flavor and I don't usually like chocolate based ice creams. It seems like Steve's is not very popular here, but I really liked the Southern Banana Pudding as well. I do agree that the salted caramel was WAY too salty. I could not eat it.

As for the ice cream being icy, that is usually the fault of the store. They leave the cases out on the floor for hours before they put it in the freezer case, and it thaws out and is frozen again. I know it is primarily the large stores such as Safeway (number one offender) that do this. I see completely frozen over freezer cases all of the time with a thick ice layer on the outside of the pint. I won't buy any of those pints because they are always icy.

Every time I get a really icy pint of HD or B&J I send a complaint to the company and they send me a coupon for a free pint. I am not driving to the grocery store with a pint of ice cream to return it. It is a waste of gas and time so I usually throw it away and go to the brand's website. Every time I do this I explain the situation with the ice cream thawing in the aisles, but I never know if they do anything about it. You have to submit all of the numbers on the carton and list the date and store you bought it at. Perhaps eventually they will start contacting the Safeway headquarters.

Anonymous said...

I just tried the ice cream for the first time last night. Bought it at Murray's Cheese which keeps a bunch of ice cream pints in stock. On Second Scoop's review is spot on. There is nothing remarkable about the flavor, and I was totally disappointed. No chunks to be found, nothing cakey to chew on, and every bite tasted the same. Never buying this again. Too bad. I prefer Haagen Dazs's Chocolate Chocolate Chip.