For as long as I can remember Baskin Robbins’ flavor of the month in February has been Love Potion #31, but this year, much like they did in October with Trick Oreo Treat, they have made their love potion a seasonal flavor and brought back Chocolate Hazelnut as the February special. It’s no secret that chocolate is a sensual aphrodisiac, but is there some romantic allure to the hazelnut as well? I’ve noticed it popping up more frequently this time of year, and with February 5 being named “World Nutella Day” (apparently since 2007), there may be a consumer conspiracy at hand. Baskin Robbins’ ode to the apparent love nut is chocolate ice cream and hazelnuts covered with chocolate flavored coating swirled with a hazelnut cookie fudge ribbon.
The chocolate ice cream is just as expected – smooth, decadent, and creamy with a wonderful milk finish that isn’t too dark or bitter. It’s that classic high quality chocolate flavor that isn’t remarkable or complex but serves as a great foundation to building a solid scoop. The hazelnuts are ample and give big bursts of genuine nutty flavor. They aren’t tiny pieces either – they’re entire chocolate covered nuts that bring not only a solid richness and big textural crunch, but extra sweetness as well because of the coating. Hazelnut is not one of my favorite nuts but their unique, almost bitter flavor really shines in the sea of sweet chocolate.
While the ice cream and hazelnuts are both very good, the real star of the show here is the hazelnut cookie fudge ribbon; a thick fudgey ganache with crunched up cookie grit and fantastic pops of saltiness. The darkness of the ribbon flourishes against the lighter chocolate base and the salt cuts through the dominant sweet flavors bringing the whole experience together. I’ve always felt that BR does ribbons really well and this one truly makes all of the flavors sing and elevates it beyond what would have been a fairly basic scoop.
If you love Nutella you’re going to love this flavor; there are no if ands or buts that this scoop delivers huge chocolate hazelnut satisfaction. If you’re like me, and think Nutella is good but a touch overrated and you really fist pump for team peanut butter, you will likely also find this February offering surprisingly delicious. I went into this expecting to be slightly underwhelmed but the variance in texture and layers of chocolate made it much more interesting than I thought it would be, and is a worthy side piece to Love Potion #31.