Alton Brown said, “I’m pretty sure this is the best ice cream made in America,” so we decided to find out.
Product Description: A line of premium, craft ice creams developed by chef Keith Schroeder to bring “chef-driven” flavors to food service, now available for home enjoyment. It is made in small batches outside of Atlanta.
Note: Premium ice creams, such as Häagen- Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, have a denser texture due to less “overrun,” meaning very little air has been incorporated into the mixture. On the other hand, most inexpensive brands have a higher overrun; they are cheaper because they actually contain more air! This style of ice creams(High Road Ice Creams) has a fluffier, lighter texture. It is not a better or worse situation; it is a matter of personal preference.
The term “craft” ice cream is fairly new and usually describes a premium ice cream that also has a sophisticated approach in its flavors and combination of ingredients. High Road Ice Cream is craft, premium ice cream. Many ice cream companies begin with commercially available bases or have a dairy make a base for them. High Road makes their own, and has 10 different bases that Chef Schroeder and his team created, depending on the desired result. The High Road Ice Cream flavors are grouped into collections such as the Boozy Pack, The Big Kid Collection, the French Series, Caramel Series and others.
We tested four flavors:
- Vanilla Fleur de Sel: Crème anglaise-based vanilla ice cream featuring a blend of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, in-house barrel-aged vanilla and fleur de sel.
- Brown Butter Praline: A caramel ribbon made with brown butter swirled throughout sweet -cream ice cream and studded with sugar roasted praline pecans.
- Bakesale: Vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie and pecan brownie pieces
- Jokester: Malt ice cream containing chunks of milk chocolate, handmade nougat, caramel and salted peanuts.
- Vanilla Fleur de Sel: Milk, cream, sugar, dextrose, egg yolks, vanilla, sea salt, locust bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan.
- Brown Butter Praline: Milk, cream, sugar, pecans, dextrose, egg yolks, butter, sea salt, locust bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan.
- Bakesale: Milk, cream, sugar, egg yolk, dextrose, chocolate chip cookie (sugar, butter, flour, chocolate, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda), brownie (chocolate, butter, sugar, flour, eggs, pecans, salt), guar gum, carob bean gum, xanthan gum.
- Jokester: Milk, cream, sugar, egg yolk, dextrose, nougat (sugar, glucose, honey, peanuts, egg whites, butter, cream of tartar, salt), caramel (sugar, cream, corn syrup, salt), peanuts, malt, salt, guar gum, carob bean gum, xanthan gum.
Test Kitchen Overview: These ice creams are super smooth and melt beautifully in your mouth. They are rich, but do not over-coat the tongue, like some high-fat ice cream can.
The Fleur de Sel did, indeed, have a hit of salt. Some of our taste testers wanted more of it; I found the salt level to be spot on. It did disappear somewhat, though, when topped with caramel sauce and chocolate sauce. It would be great on top of a chocolate truffle tart or molten chocolate cake.
The Brown Butter Praline is sweet and has a good amount of caramel swirled throughout. I would have liked a more pronounced browned-butter flavor. The pecans tasted very fresh and nutty. This flavor would be perfect on a slice of warm apple pie.
Bakesale is vanilla ice cream punctuated with a decent amount of dark-chocolate brownie chunks and chocolate-chip cookie bits. I didn’t find any of the individual components particularly amazing, but the combination will appeal to cookie-dough ice cream fans out there.
The Jokester took me completely by surprise. I am not a huge malt fan, and this ice cream has changed my mind. The combination of the malt-ice-cream base and salted peanuts in particular really excited my taste buds. The caramel was there in force; the nougat kind of melted into the ice cream and I was looking for more toothsome chunks of it, but no matter. Each spoonful made me very happy and wanting more. This ice cream has convinced me to go play with malt in the kitchen.
Pros: This is an indulgent treat. It might be ice cream, but it is also a very elegant dessert. You won’t find flavors like Mixed Berry Buttermilk, Roasted Coconut Kaffir, Sweet Hibiscus Ginger Sorbet or Blood Orange Stracciatella Gelato anywhere else. They offer free shipping and the ice cream arrives rock hard, packed perfectly with dry ice in a sturdy cooler. They also offer an Ice Cream of the Month Club, which is a great gift for the foodie who has everything.
Cons: Cost. A six-pack runs $99. The website navigation could use some work, as the flavors are organized by collection, so it is not easy to search alphabetically or by flavor. I was getting so excited reading about all the flavors I couldn’t find them fast enough!
Suggested Use: Their À la Mode series is meant to top pies and other desserts (and includes the Vanilla Fleur de Sel along with Bourbon Burnt Sugar and Crème Caramel). Most of the other flavors are so finely crafted in terms of texture and flavor balance that we suggest savoring them as is.
Where to Buy: Can be purchased direct through High Road.
You can also find some flavors in select Whole Foods Markets in the Southeast; Fairway Markets in the NYC metro area (including CT, NJ, Long Island); Standard Market in Chicago; Rouse’s in New Orleans; Central Market in Texas and at a few independent retailers across the US. They are working on wider distribution.
Price at Time of Review:
$99 for 6; free 2-day shipping. ($16.50 per pint).
Have you tried this product? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Bakepedia received this product as a gift for review. All opinions are the reviewer’s own.
Images: Peter Muka