Review: Cadbury Boost

In the US, the only Cadbury candy bars I ever see are the solid, molded variety with nuts and dried fruits mixed in. These bars are actually produced by Hershey’s under a license agreement. In the rest of the world though, there’s a big variety of Cadbury enrobed products like the Cadbury Boost. I suppose the Hershey’s licensing agreement might prohibit Cadbury from exporting these candy bars to the US.

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Structure
The inner core is a chocolate ganache-like filling, where the bottom half has small, round bits of biscuits (cookies) mixed in. This is surrounded by a thin layer of caramel. The whole bar is enrobed in milk chocolate.

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Texture
The chocolate filling isn’t as soft as I was expecting or would have liked. It’s slightly softer than the pure chocolate coating, but not much. The biscuit pieces are perfectly crunchy, but there aren’t enough of them. I would have liked the whole center, not just the bottom half, to include biscuits pieces. The way the caramel is layered so thin, it’s not noticeable at first. But since it’s so chewy, it lasts longer than the other components, so you end up with some caramel in your mouth after everything else is gone.

Taste
The milk chocolate, both the coating and the filling, taste good. The caramel is slightly salty, which complements the overall sweetness of the product.

Verdict
The Cadbury Boost is a reconstructed Twix bar, though it’s not quite as good. Twix has a higher proportion of caramel and it’s solid cookie bar provides more crunch than Boost’s small, round bits of cookie. That said, it’s still pretty darn good and Cadbury chocolate is tasty.

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Review: Wendler Nougat

A few months ago, while preparing for a big Oktoberfest party, my mom picked this candy bar up at a local German grocery store along with some beer and brats. Immediately, I remembered the last German candy bar I tried – the Storz Nougat PralinĂ©. Both have gold packaging, are made of a chocolate and hazelnut nougat, and hail from Deutschland. Two things jumped out at me about this Wendler product though. First, the packaging design is superior to the Storz version. It’s crisply folded and has a cool metallic, textured feel to it. Second, I could see from the picture on the front that this product has two distinct layers, one darker (and presumably more chocolately) than the other.

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Structure
Two layers of German nougat. The bottom layer is a darker shade of brown than the top.

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Texture
The Wendler Nougat bar is soft and dense. It coats your whole mouth as you try to chew it. There isn’t a huge difference in consistency between the two layers, but the top layer is slightly smoother, while the bottom layer is a bit drier.

Flavor
Very surprisingly, there is almost no chocolate flavor. It didn’t taste at all like I was expecting, which was something similar to Nutella. Instead, there’s a distinct roasted hazelnut flavor. Overall, this product is very sweet and unfortunately, without the chocolate present, there’s not much going on to cut into that sweetness. There’s really no discernible difference between the two layers, except the top was maybe a little sweeter.

Verdict
Maybe I’m being overly critical because I was so sure that this bar was going to taste like chocolate and I was horribly let down. It’s very one-dimensional and way too sweet.

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Review: VooDooo Rocky Road

I previously reviewed Annabelle’s Rocky Road – an American made candy bar with chocolate, marshmallows and cashews. I was underwhelmed by that product, so I’ve been on the lookout for a great rocky road candy bar since. So, I was really excited when I received this Australian made rocky road bar last week. From the packaging, I could tell it’s different from Annabelle’s. Instead of using a solid slab of marshmallow enrobed in chocolate, this version has big pieces of marshmallow mixed into a slab of chocolate. And instead of cashews, VooDooo’s version has peanuts.

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Structure
Whole marshmallows and roasted peanuts in milk chocolate, cut into rectangular slabs.

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Texture
This is a very non-uniform product. There are different sized marshmallow and peanut pieces mixed throughout. The chocolate is really thin in some places and really thick in others. Along the outside of the bar, the chocolate barely coats some of the marshmallow pieces. I think VooDooo might be making these by hand, rather than using automatic machinery, but I can’t confirm this.

Taste
The marshmallow and peanuts are fine. The chocolate – a huge disappointment. It’s really sweet and flavorless. It barely tastes like chocolate actually. If I were served this candy bar blindfolded, I would have guessed that it had white chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

Verdict
VooDooo Rocky Road was a big let down. I had high hopes from the packaging and first look that this would be a great candy bar. But immediately upon biting in, it was clear that the chocolate was sub-par and that ultimately killed it’s chances of getting a thumbs up from me.

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Review: Nidar Troika

I like most candy bar packaging. There are plenty of examples of both upscale and common candy bars that have great packaging. The Troika, on the other hand, has terrible packaging design. I think they were trying to make it look upscale, but in failing to do so, created a design that looks cheap and generic. More annoying though, is that the packaging of the Troika fails to convey anything about the product itself. I shouldn’t have to comb through the ingredients in small print on the back to get an idea about what’s in the product.

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Structure
The Troika consists of three inner layers enrobed in dark chocolate. From top to bottom, these layers are raspberry jelly, chocolate truffle, and marzipan.

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Texture
Upon biting in, the chocolate shell broke off into thin pieces – separating easily from the rest of the bar. The jelly was soft. It reminded me of canned cranberry sauce, though a little firmer. The chocolate truffle layer was lost in the mix between the jelly and the noticeably dry and crumbly marzipan. Overall, kind of an odd combination of textures.

Taste
I’ll start with the good news. The dark chocolate coating is very high quality and tastes great. The bad news… the rest of the flavors aren’t good at all. The raspberry flavor is underwhelming and didn’t work with the marzipan at all. Like the texture, the flavors were an odd combination.

Verdict
This candy bar just isn’t very good. I don’t understand why they tried to put together this combination of ingredients. Marzipan and raspberry jelly? I don’t understand the appeal of that. The one bright spot for this product was the chocolate, but I’m kind of annoyed good chocolate is being wasted producing Troikas.

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Review: Cuba

I love the packaging for this bar, which is simply called Cuba. The candy bar itself is wrapped in gold foil, which is then covered in plastic – twisted off on the ends like a Tootsie Roll wrapper. The Cuba logo type is clear plastic, so the gold foil shows. I’ve never seen a candy bar wrapped like this before and I award them points for creativity. As for the candy product on the inside, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from the Norwegian description, but I could figure out that it had chocolate and almonds in it from the ingredients.

Structure
A molded high cocoa percentage milk chocolate with a soft chocolate filling containing small pieces of almonds.

Texture
The chocolate shell is thin and snaps apart nicely as you bite through to the soft center. The filling is light and fluffy like a mousse or a whipped ganache. The almond pieces are chopped very fine and add a little bit of crunchiness. I also noticed some small sugar granules suspended in the filling.

Taste
Cuba has a deep, intense chocolate taste with a bit of saltiness – a welcome shot of flavor in contrast to some cheap, tasteless chocolate I’ve had recently.

Verdict
This bar is a definite thumbs up. It’s more like a truffle you’d find at a chocolate shop than it is a candy bar you’d expect to pick up at a convenience store.

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Review: Nidar Smash!

The Smash! packaging caught my eye right away. It appeared to have little chocolate covered ice cream cones flying around with little candy bar particles floating in the background. I wasn’t exactly sure what was in the candy bar though. Instead of reading the ingredients, I decided to jump right in and take a bite. For a moment, I thought there actually were ice cream cones smashed up in it, but I realized the pieces were too salty. Then it hit me. Smash! is filled with crushed up bits of Bugles. Now the packaging makes sense because Bugles look like little ice cream cones.

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Structure
A molded milk chocolate bar with crushed up pieces of corn chips mixed in.

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Texture
The bar crumbles apart as you bite through. Because there are so many corn chip bits incorporated throughout, the structural integrity of the chocolate is compromised. That’s not a bad thing though, because the bar is thick and would be difficult to bite through if it were solid chocolate. The corn chips provide a ton of crunchiness. Overall, the Smash! is very similar to the Ritter Sport Corn Flakes Bar, though these pieces are a little lighter and crispier than regular corn flakes.

Taste
The milk chocolate is very good. It’s creamy with a deep flavor. The corn chips bits are noticeably salty and the corn flavor pokes through on the finish. The chocolate and chips work well together.

Verdict
A very solid effort. My only complaint is the thickness of the bar. It should have been a little thinner. All in all, a very good tasting candy bar though.

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50 Candy Bars in 50 Days

I haven’t been posting many reviews recently. Okay, I’ll admit, I haven’t posted ANY reviews recently. At the same time, my collection of candy bars has been growing steadily. This weekend I received a big shipment of bars from a friend traveling in Australia. That put me over the top. I decided I need to do something about this and make a push to get some reviews out on the site. So, I’m announcing that I’ll be reviewing 50 candy bars over the next 50 days. Here’s a picture of what’s in store for me between now and mid-January.

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