It’s the ice cream bar that’s had just about everyone talking for the past couple of weeks: an allegedly decadent confection involving a stick of premium ice cream dipped in dark Belgian chocolate. Unless you’ve been on spiritual retreat or have gone to the Himalayas for the past few weeks, you know damned well I’m talking about the Magnum.
Depending on who you talk to the word magnum itself has various meanings. For the military enthusiast, it will bring guns to mind. For J-rock fans, it has a more salacious meaning related to the musician Gackt. For oenophiles, it refers to a measure of champagne. All that said, one wonders how this particular frozen delight got its name, but it is relatively easy to assume that it was so titled because of its innate richness which sets it apart from all other readily-available frozen desserts.
A Unilever product, the Magnum has been readily available in various countries the world over for several years now but has only recently made an appearance in the Philippines. Currently, there are three variants available: the vanilla-under-chocolate classic, the almond with its vanilla center and nut-studded surface, and the one I opted for, the chocolate truffle (labeled as Double Chocolate or Magnum Intense abroad).
It looks a tad disappointing at first: a solid chocolate shell encasing some ice cream. But the shell shatters audibly as one takes a bite and it melts almost immediately in your mouth. Like all proper Belgian chocolates, the coating for this particular dessert has that rich, cocoa-strong, slightly caramelized taste - definitely proof that real chocolate was used as opposed to just tinted and artificially-flavored confectioner’s coating.
However, I felt somewhat shortchanged when it came to the ice cream under the shell. Sure it was as rich as the package said it would be, plus there were generous ribbons of ganache swirled into it, but I couldn’t help but feel that there was something missing. Oh, well. When all’s said and done, though, I daresay this was a pretty good ice cream. Perhaps not the best (and at that price, I was hankering for something more), but it was certainly a cut above most.