In my funny fantasy food mind I’ve got a number of dream ice cream flavors. A truly satisfying spin on peanut butter banana, white chocolate blueberry basil, popcorn and anything, a caramel ice cream that utilizes real peanut butter as a swirl, and the list goes on and on. Above all else though, I’ve always wanted a pancakes and syrup ice cream, and this year, my dreams nearly come true. The September Flavor of the Month at Baskin Robbins is Belgian Waffle, which combines a maple praline ice cream with Belgian waffle pieces, pralined pecans, and a creamy caramel swirl.
On my first spoonful this ice cream is already fantastic. The maple praline ice cream is smooth and rich with a wonderfully balanced maple flavor that is present but not too over the top sweet. The addition of the praline brings some richness and depth so there is a touch of nuttiness that pushes beyond just a pure syrupy sugar flavor that maple can fall victim to. Maple bases are few and far in between for mainstream companies, and this is one that I would love to see offered on a more regular basis.
The pralines, just like in one of my favorite BR core flavors, Pralines ‘N Cream, are positively top notch. Super gritty and sugar-coated crispy crunchy, they bring huge textural contrast and a big burst of sweet yet fatty pecan flavor that is nostalgic magic to my tongue. They work very well in tandem with the thin and sweet caramel that weaves its way in and out of every bite, adding syrupy depth to the base and more fun melty contrast. The caramel seems to enjoy pooling itself around the big chunks of toffee-ed nuts for an extra sweet pop of indulgent breakfast delight.
The most intriguing and risky part of this flavor is the waffles themselves – and overall they work pretty damn well. The waffle pieces are soft and fluffy chunks of Saturday mornings finest, and have the chewy cakey texture most baked goods take on in ice cream. They’re mostly small to medium sized and integrate themselves into bites rather than take over like a massive mix-in. It’s hard to distinguish any particular buttery or eggy nuances, but there is an airy-ness to them that signals waffles, and given the context of the maple and praline it all makes sense and tastes truly delicious.
When I manage to isolate one of the waffle pieces and eat it on its own, there’s a bit of maple flavor that comes through in the dough as well, which helps drive the overall waffle experience to new heights. While my fantasy flavor may have been pancakes and syrup, I will admit that I think the slightly tougher exterior of a waffle is a better fit for ice cream, and the execution here is about as good as I could hope for.
I had very high expectations for this scoop and it really lived up to them. Baskin Robbins essentially took one of their top five best flavors and added maple and waffles to it – brilliant. This is one that is worth the trip to the shop to try, and my favorite monthly special so far this year.
Found at: Baskin Robbins ($2.99)
Quick Nutrition: 4 oz scoop – 280 cal – 14g fat – 260mg sodium – 34g carb – 27g sugar – 4g protein