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A&E >  Food

New versions of chocolate ice cream all winners

Lorie Hutson Food editor

If you haven’t tried lower-fat, lower-calorie ice creams in awhile, it’s time to break out the scoop again.

When companies first tried to take the cream out of ice cream, it was awful. The resulting icy texture was always a dead give away. Not any more.

We asked the Spokesman-Review food panel to tackle yet another torturous assignment – tasting four different kinds of chocolate ice cream to see how they stacked up. They scooped up the most decadent, chocolate-laden samples we could find, including one new ice cream that was not lower in fat and calories, Dove’s Unconditional Chocolate. The others included: Ben and Jerry’s Body and Soul, Chocolate Fudge Brownie; Haagen Dazs’ Light Dutch Chocolate and Dreyers’ Slow Churned Chocolate Fudge Chunk.

There was no clear winner, but there was good news for chocoholics everywhere: Chocolate ice cream never tasted so good. Each one of the ice creams was a favorite for someone on our volunteer panel. Overall, two brands earned four-and-a-half-star ratings, one received four stars and the final ice cream was not far behind with three and a half stars.

Of course, Dove’s Unconditional Chocolate was one of the top ranked ice creams, but so was Ben and Jerry’s Body and Soul, Chocolate Fudge Brownie. The ice cream has 25 percent less fat, sugar and calories than the original version.

“Cake and ice cream all in one. Yahoo!” said panel member Tina Johnson, a known chocoholic who gave five stars to three of the four brands served.

Skip Hubbard said, “I have one complaint and only one: More brownies please!”

Dreyers Slow Churned Chocolate Fudge Chunk has half the fat and calories of regular ice cream and it also earned four and a half stars from panel members.

Marcia Oranen liked Dreyers the best. “Rich and creamy, dark chocolate flavor. Great mouthfeel.”

Haagen-Dazs’ effort earned the lowest rating of the day, but the ice cream makers should know it only suffered because it was the simplest preparation we served. It was an unadorned Dutch chocolate with half the fat and 29 percent fewer calories than regular ice cream. But tasters couldn’t stop using the word “creamy.”

Donald Clegg said it was his favorite of the bunch. “My favorite chocolate ice cream is just straight. No additions. This one might not be perfect, but it’s close.”

But after tasting Dove’s full-fat ice cream, Clegg relented slightly. “OK. I do like the addition of the dark chocolate chunks. Rich and slightly bitter; Wonderful.”

Tasters raved about the milk chocolate chunks and the layer of Dove chocolate ganache. “I could make a meal of this,” said Larry Inman.

Ben and Jerry’s Body and Soul, Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Price: $3.49 for 1 pint

Nutrition per serving: 180 calories, 7 grams fat (5 grams saturated, 35 percent fat calories), 4 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrate, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 75 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • • 1/2

Value: • • •

Comments: “A nice creamy feel, the brownie bits were really nice. The chocolate taste is intense and unadulterated. Very nice. My favorite.” – Laura Hollman

“Total decadence,” – Peggy Kazanis

“Chocolate ice cream and brownies – the best.” – Vicki Deschaine

Dryers Slow Churned Chocolate Fudge Chunk

Price: $5.59 for 1.75 quarts

Nutrition per serving: 120 calories, 4.5 grams fat (3 grams saturated, 40 percent fat calories), 18 grams carbohydrate, 20 milligrams cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 50 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • • •

Value: • • •

Comments: “Rich and creamy, dark chocolate flavor. Great mouthfeel. The best!” – Marcia Oranen

“Fantastic.” – Larry Inman

“Nothing wrong here.” – Andy Hoye

“Not for the chocoholic. The watered-down rather unchocolatey taste didn’t quite cut it for me, but then again I am a chocolate purist. Delicious if you look at the nutrition information, however.” – Laura Hollman

Haagen-Dazs Light Dutch Chocolate

Price: $3.59 for 1 pint

Nutrition per serving: 190 calories, 5 grams fat (3 grams saturated, 24 percent fat calories), 4 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 55 milligrams cholesterol, less than 1 gram dietary fiber, 95 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • • 1/2

Value: • • •

Comments: “My favorite chocolate ice cream is just straight. No additions. This one might not be perfect, but it’s close.” – Donald Clegg

“Super creamy and light.” – Peggy Kazanis

“Very creamy and smooth.” – Marcia Oranen

“Creamy and smooth, like a Fudgsicle.” – Marilyn Moore

Dove Unconditional Chocolate

Price: $3.99 for 1 pint

Nutrition per serving: 300 calories, 18 grams fat (11 grams saturated, 54 percent fat calories), 4 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrate, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 80 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • • • 1/2

Value: • • •

Comments: “Rich ice cream, mixed with large dark and milk chocolate chunks. Nummies.” – Vicki Deschaine

“Chunks of slivered chocolate bar made it taste best of all.” – Marilyn Moore

“OK. I do like the addition of the dark chocolate chunks. Rich and slightly bitter, wonderful.” – Donald Clegg

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