It?s no secret that I?m a bit of an ice cream addict and I?ve tried a fair few of the luxury varieties over the past few years. We have an ice cream maker at home and are perfectly capable of creating our own extravaganzas but if we?re out shopping and there?s a new variety for sale, I always have to bring some home to try. I was wandering round Iceland a few months back and came across a new variety of ice cream called Crackpots, made by Iceland themselves. Packed in a 500ml container the price was pretty expensive, at £1.99 for a small tub that can easily be polished off by one person, but lo and behold a couple of weeks later Iceland started one of their mega fantastic promotions and were offering two tubs for £3. Since then we have purchased both the crispy toffee and milk chocolate and the mint crisp and dark chocolate on a regular basis, the only trouble is they are so moreish they last about a day in our freezer. Iceland also have a lemon and white chocolate in the Crackpot range, but as yet we?ve not succumbed to the richness of this one. Our favourite to date is the Crispy Toffee and Milk Chocolate flavour and I?ve rescued the container that only has a smidgeon of ice cream left so that I can share the delights of the ice cream with you. I?m always happy to purchase Iceland?s own products as their policy to put no genetically modified products, artificial colours or flavours into their foods gives them extra Brownie points before I?ve even sampled anything they have to offer. I do have one complaint about Crackpots ? the container. It?s a transparent thick plastic tub, shaped in an oval fashion and is quite stubby. The lid is a nightmare to extricate though, and I just can?t do it. A plastic tab as to be depressed before the lid can then be peeled away and I?m ashamed to admit I always have to ask my
thirteen year old son to do this for me before we can have dessert, so I really wouldn?t advise buying this for an elderly person as the chances are they?d never be able to get into the container. If you?re as old as me then you will probably be able to remember Ice Magic Chocolate Sauce. When I was young Ice Magic was a novelty as when the thick chocolate sauce was poured over ice cream it immediately set so that it was rock solid, and as the spoon was dug into its smooth surface the chocolate cracked into small pieces adding an unusual taste texture to the ice cream. The picture on the top of the Crackpots container shows a creamy caramel coloured ice cream with tiny pieces of thick milk chocolate dotted across its surface so it wasn?t really a surprise when we bought it for the first time and opened the lid. You can?t see any ice cream, instead a moreishly thick layer of solid chocolate adorns the surface. The gorgeous sweet toffee aroma that escapes from the tub reassures me that there is indeed some ice cream beneath the chocolate so I stand poised and ready to strike with my spoon. A word of warning though??.the chocolate will not crack in delicate little pieces as shown on the lid of the tub. Oh no. When you dig the spoon into the thick slab of chocolate it will crack and splinter across the whole surface, leaving huge chunks of chocolate in its wake. The result of this is that some greedier members of the family (if they are not watched) will nab all the chocolate with their portion and no one else gets a look in, so make sure Mum sorts out the portions so everyone gets an equal share. The first taste of the ice cream is like a present from heaven. The caramel sensation has a rich creaminess that releases a sweet toffee flavour onto the tongue, but if you?re expecting a smooth ice cream you?re going to get another shock. Scattered in the ice cream a
re small pieces of toffee that necessitate the need to chew or at least to suck them until they melt, leaving a rich sticky feeling in the mouth. The chocolate on the surface is good quality, no weak and watery insipid chocolate from Iceland, instead it has a creamy flavour as well as being smooth and it mixes with the sweetness of the ice cream and the small toffee bits to make the ice cream have a really nice ?bitty? texture. The toffee pieces are just the right size, about half the size of a finger nail and after being in the ice cream for some time you?d imagine they would be really hard. They?re not though. I don?t know how Iceland have done it but they?re chewy as opposed to ?crispy?, and if you leave them to rest on your tongue they release a sticky trickle of sugar to the back of the throat. There?s not too many of them either, they?re just spread nice and evenly throughout the caramel coldness and add that little extra to what is already a gorgeous dessert. You?d also think the fact that the ice cream is caramel flavoured and topped with an iceberg thick layer of milk chocolate that it?s going to be sickly wouldn?t you? Well I suppose it would be if you had the whole tub to yourself but I tend to have a quarter of the tub at a time and then it?s not a sweetness overload. It is a rich ice cream, of that there?s no doubt, but as long as you don?t go overboard Crackpots isn?t going to make you wish you?d never sat down with the tub and a spoon. Although the ice cream doesn?t last long in our house and I wish Iceland introduced larger tubs for us greedy families, Crackpots is a dessert that I?m going to buy for the forseeable future, especially while it?s on offer. It has a luxurious taste and can easily rival some of the more expensive brands such as Ben and Jerrys or Carte D?or. Unfortunately there are a couple of negative points. Although the ice cre
am is veggie friendly, it does contain gluten, wheat and soya and is also produced in an area where nuts are used. The calorific info is pretty scary too. Just 100g of ice cream will give you 222kcal and 11.8g of fat but as soon as I mentioned caramel and chocolate you knew that anyway didn?t you?! Go on Mum, get down to Iceland and bring some Crackpots home for tea. The kids will love you for it.