A Sweet Surprise: Local entrepreneurs join in cocoa bomb craze

Mariela Perez prepared these hot cocoa chocolate bombs using her choice of ingredients. These treats are the latest baking craze. By Maricela Rodrigeuz, Valley Morning Star

HARLINGEN — The steps are simple and the results enjoyable.

The chocolate bomb is placed inside a mug of choice, steamed or warmed milk is poured on top. What happens after that is the bomb disintegrates and reveals hot cocoa and marshmallows. People can then stir and enjoy the sweet drink.

What began as a social media trend has now become a new option for local bakers to offer to their clients. The hot cocoa bombs or chocolate bombs are hard shell chocolate spheres filled with different types of cocoa. Bakers jumped into the trend with no expectations; now they confirm it has been a successful choice.

Elisa Kornegay, 41, is clearly a lover of the kitchen. She has been working on creating hers to her liking for a while, especially because it is where she spends most of her time. Kornegay said it is her favorite spot.

“I love being in here, it clears my mind. It is my getaway spot,” she said. “This is where you’ll find me,” said Kornegay, who was born and raised in La Feria.

Mariela Perez prepared these hot cocoa chocolate bombs using her choice of ingredients. These treats are the latest baking craze.

Her kitchen is her work station, where she had melting chocolate ready as well as pre-prepared shells to show how the chocolate bombs are made. Crushed candy cane and marshmallows dipped in chocolate and covered with candy cane were also ready for her decoration.

Baking and cooking is her hobby but she said it has allowed to her pay several of her bills since she started doing cakes in 2007. Kornegay works almost every day of the week baking or now, creating the popular bombs.

“They have been showing it a lot on Pinterest and Facebook. My daughter recently showed me on TikTok,” she said.

“But when I posted them about a week ago, I didn’t think it was going to take off as fast as it did for me. Overnight in two days I made 200, when I saw how excited my kids got when we made them I thought why not,” Kornegay said.

Mariela Perez prepared these hot cocoa chocolate bombs using her choice of ingredients. These treats are the latest baking craze.

In Harlingen, Bianca Cortez, 24, owner of B’s Tees & Treats, started out making customizable T-shirts and tumblers. Cortez also makes cupcakes, cakes and has now started doing her cocoa bombs.

Cortez has started to sell her treats. She said she has always been interested in baking. Cortez saw the fad online on both Facebook and TikTok as well, she then ventured out to do her own.

“I started about a week or two ago. It was very hard to get the molds because they are out of stock everywhere. It took me like a month to get them,” she said.

“I tasted different flavors before I even offered them. I am offering salted caramel, Oreo and Ybarra chocolate” Cortez said.

Just like Kornegay, she began offering to the public two weeks ago. Cortez has also been getting numerous orders, proving people are excited about them.

Mariela Perez, 42, who works as a medical biller, saw on Facebook how to make the hot cocoa bombs.

“I searched and told my daughter, we could make these. I was hesitant at first but last month I started to make them,” Perez said.

Besides offering the bombs, she also makes Christmas wreaths and bakes banana bread and cakes, among other goodies.

Perez said her daughter has been helping her with her side gig. She said she has been her inspiration.

Mariela Perez shows off the chocolate cocoa bombs she prepared.

“She tells me, come on mom, yes you can, and I get worried if people will not like it and she pushes me,” she said.

Another Harlingen resident started out on the trend as well. Victoria Garcia, 36, also has a regular nine to five job but on the side she sells a variety of candy with chamoy and chili powder. She also bakes and does it more often since her brand Picalicious has become more popular over time.

“It just took off from one day to the next,” Garcia said. She works at MetroPCS by T-Mobile but began her venture to make an extra income. Garcia is the mother of seven children, six boys and one girl.

Garcia has been baking for over 13 years but she believes because of the pandemic, people have shown their other skills. She remembers about seven years ago she bought a box of molds to make the bombs but did not know what to use them for. Recently, she saw a TikTok video of how to make them and realized she had the utensils. She offers white chocolate with peppermint and does whatever a client requests.

“Somebody asked me if I could put rum inside and that is going to be something different I am going to do today,” she said.

“I stay busy. At the beginning I didn’t know how to make them but I started investigating and have been following TikTokers who are professionals at this. As long as people request them I will make them,” Garcia said.

ecavazos@valleystar.com