Yes, I know it’s chilly out there, but there is something so wondrously delectable about eating ice-cream in winter. You need to be aptly layered up if outside, but even better if you have a carton indoors, where you can smoosh onto the couch, snuggly socks intact, and tuck into your carton of the cool stuff.
I went along to an ice-cream tasting at Bluebell Dairy in Spondon, Derbyshire, to learn more about their ice-cream range and check out the new seasonal offerings.
We were warmly greeted in the Tea Room, and after a networking chat, the ice-cream tasting commenced! Here are the various flavour profiles, tasting notes included:
Christmas Pudding: Heavy brandy hit, I loved the cakey texture of the pudding pieces suspended within the ice-cream. Great as an alternative dessert to Christmas pudding, which is invariably lighter than a full-on pudding. If you love the taste of Christmas pudding, you can serve this flavoured ice-cream alongside a flaming hot pudding, to really build on the festive flavour.
Irish Cream: Flavour of wafer came through on the swallow. Great with mince pies, stollen or Christmas pudding.
Pomegranate Sorbet: One of my favourites, which was super light on the palate and had a rounded finish. Very sweet (just how I like it), and the high berry content rendered a wonderful liqueury aftertaste. This would go well with a meringue-based dessert such as pavlova, or equally as a palate cleanser before and after a three-course dinner. Works great on a tasting menu too.
Apricot and Stilton: Dark horse that had me thrown – I really liked this. On the face of it, sticking a pungent cheese in ice-cream sounds naïve folly. It’s actually ingenious, because the Stilton, which is surprisingly subtle – more salty than cheesy – works exceedingly well with the sweet vanilla canvas. It is oddly moreish and would go great with Christmas cake or on a cheeseboard.
Brandy and Caramelised Fig: Creamy, dense texture, strong hit of brandy (great if you love brandy like me). Felt a little cheesy on the palate, which is not a bad thing, and was great to taste anyway. Would work as a side with honey-roasted figs, or a figgy pudding.
Chocolate Orange: delivered a deep, dark chocolate hit. Great choice for chocoholics, would work well with a chocolate pudding such as Yule Log, or even as an ingredient in Chocolate Bombe.
Prosecco Sorbet: Great for those who love Champagne / Prosecco / Cava / the flavour of good fizz. Fragrant, sweet would also go great in a special sundae (2 scoops Prosecco Sorbet, 2 scoops Pomegranate Sorbet, drizzled with raspberry syrup for that added tang and sprinkled with pomegranate jewels).
Pistachio: Is one of my favourite flavours, and this ice-cream was very good. I find pistachios generally creamy, and this ice-cream felt luxuriously smooth. I’d serve this with a citrus based pudding, i.e. Key Lime Pie or with a drizzle of Limoncello over the ice-cream scoops.
Bluebell Dairy’s artisan ice-cream is luxurious and delicious. On the edge of Derby, cows graze the fields on the farm, and it is the blend of their creamy milk and the finest ingredients that produce freshly made, award-winning ice cream. I loved this photo that adorned the wall in the Bluebell Tea Room.
These flavours are for sale to the public. If you’re interested in stocking up your freezer with these delicious flavours, I strongly recommend you call Bluebell Dairy prior to visiting, to see if they have in stock, as they can get very busy over Christmas. Please call 01332 673924 or visit their website now.