Boost bars are huge. I mean, not just ‘oh, this Kit Kat is pretty chunky’ but genuinely bloody massive. When you pick one up, they’re not actually that big in the hand, but you can just feel how dense they are from the weight. Cadbury’s Boost bar is very regularly sized (roughly equivalent to a Starbar in shape and size) but weighs in at 60.5g- significantly more than nearly any other chocolate out there- even your Kit Kat Chunkies and Yorkie bars, which make a big deal out of being supposedly huge, lag behind the Boost.
That does of course have consequences. I don’t normally talk about nutritional information (it isn’t very exciting- obviously chocolate isn’t great for you…does it really matter SPECIFICALLY how bad it is?) but this Boost bar is so magnificently unhealthy that it deserves a mention in this case. Packing in 12.8g of saturated fats (which is more than some pizza’s I think!) as well as 300 calories, this thing is an X-rated chocolate bar.
It is pretty simply described by Cadbury as ‘milk chocolate with caramel and biscuit filling’. I went through a stage, aged 14 or 15, of eating these in bulk. And I don’t class ‘bulk’ as a couple a week- pretty much one per day. I remember them being so big that they were a meal replacement- I could eat breakfast, eat a Boost at school break-time (11.30AM) and then wouldn’t be hungry again until I got home for my dinner. It might not provide nutrients and vitamins, but 14 year old boys don’t need that shizzle- they need SUGAR. And the Boost bar has that in abundance.
It is pretty bog standard packaging- a tidy if uninspiring blue and shiny foil wrapper. My personal opinion is that it is a little boring, but it is a definite improvement on the previous wrapper that the Boost had, which made a big deal out of being ‘charged with glucose’. (That’s corporate speak for ‘this bar has a shit load of sugar in it- don’t feed it to your under 10’s because they’ll get hyper from the resulting energy rush and become an absolute pain in the bum, firstly as they tear around the family house destroying various priceless heirlooms and antiques, and secondly as they ‘comedown’ from the sugar high and cry. A lot.’ I guess that didn’t fit on the side of the wrapper though…
Having worked in a newsagents though, I can say that the Boost bar is damn popular. That’s pretty impressive- despite boring packaging and the bar being a bit of a heart attack in 60.5g chocolate form, people still love and continue to buy it. And unlike some chocolate bars, this was popular across all genders/ages/religions/socio-economic groups. The Cadbury’s Boost is like, the John Lennon of chocolate or something. Well, John Lennon got shot by somebody who didn’t like him…but hopefully you get what I’m trying to say.
The middle bit in the photo above looks a bit like chocolate mousse. I can inform any of you who have never had a Boost bar, that it in fact resembles nothing like chocolate mousse- this centre isn’t light, isn’t fluffy and isn’t airy- it’s thick, sticky and dense. When you see the cross-section of the bar like above, you can hopefully start to understand why this bar is as heavy as it is… there is a lot going on.
And the smell is reflective of that- there is the standard Cadbury milk chocolate, which as always is pleasant and milky. But on top of that, there is a malty element, presumably from the biscuit, and some seriously sweet caramel. The overall smell from the bar is therefore sweet to the point of sickliness, but actually fairly nice too.
I found the Boost bar to be a bit of a mixed bag. The milk chocolate was predictably enjoyable- as per for Cadbury, that sweet and milky rarely fails to hit the spot. It isn’t the actual Dairy Milk here, but the lower quality ‘knock-off’ chocolate that Cadbury always use for coating their bars in…but despite being a little more waxy than Dairy Milk, this stuff is still good.
The caramel was the perfect caramel consistency, really stringy and chewy, but basically didn’t taste of anything. Now I love caramel, and the Cadbury’s Caramel bar has a lovely butteriness to it…but Cadbury obviously don’t use the same caramel here, as it was just a very harsh sugariness. So, on the caramel front, this added great texture to the bar but was a definite miss as far as the taste went.
I really liked the biscuit pieces. They tasted as they smelt with a slight malt (in fact they’re a little like Malted Milk biscuits) edge. As well as that, they had a lovely crunch and weren’t at all soggy which improved the overall bar significantly as it changed the textures up- the centre part is sticky, the caramel is sticky, and the chocolate coating is soft. Without the biscuits, this would have been horribly soft.
Finally, there’s the centre of the bar itself. It’s effectively a monstrously thick ‘truffle wannabe’ and not particularly nice being brutally honest. There are a few things you look for in a good truffle- the flavour, the texture and the smoothness. The texture of the centre isn’t actually too bad- I’d like it to be a tad more crumbly rather than ‘wet’ and sticky (just to contrast the gloopy caramel) but I’ve eaten worse mock-truffles. The problem is the taste and the melt- the Boost Centre is way, way, way, way too sweet and doesn’t melt very nicely- instead of a pleasant smoothness, this is grainy and mealy.
I didn’t hate the Cadbury’s Boost bar, but I did wonder how I used to eat them so regularly growing up. They’re just a bit too much I think- the thickness and sickliness is overbearing and a couple of mouthfuls of it was enough to make me go looking for something savoury to counteract the killer sweetness. With more biscuit, this would be a lot more to my taste- as the malty flavour would reduce how cloying the Boost is.
Would I buy the Boost again? Nah, it’s not the bar for me. I’ve eaten far worse chocolate, but this isn’t exciting or tasty for me- more just a collection of uber-sweet things thrown in together without much thought on the flavour. The poor caramel was evidence of this- Cadbury are obviously very able to produce good quality caramel (as shown by the Wispa Gold and Cadbury’s Caramel bars) but it is so bland and flavourless here.
The Boost certainly doesn’t go into the ‘avoid at all costs’ rating group, but just don’t expect too much.