CHICAGO -- Hot Chocolate is a winter favorite year after year, but no ordinary hot cocoa will do in this challenging year.
The viral food fad of 2020 is deliciously fun as videos of the hot chocolate bombs have overtaken social media.
These hollow chocolate spheres are filled with various candies and marshmallows the turn into deliciously rich hot chocolate once piping hot milk is poured over them.
In Chicago, one of the bustling bakeries cranking out thousands of these bombs is the Purple Tulip Cakery on the city's Northwest Side.
Kristen Budzynski owns the Cakery and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she had a booming business making impressive sculpted cakes that looked like real cars, animals and food! In fact, Kristen and her husband gained national attention alongside 'The Cake Boss' when they competed in the reality TV baking competition show, called 'Bake It Like Buddy' where Budzynski's team won!
But now with gatherings at a standstill during the pandemic, Purple Tulip Cakery pivoted to producing Hot Chocolate Bombs, and lots of them.
In October, the Cakery's 'bomb' orders were about 250 a week, but just like the reinvented treat, those orders exploded in December. Budzynski is pushing herself to keep up with the demand for 1,000 bombs, pre-ordered online each week!!
Her bombs have created plenty of loyal customers too.
Budzynski said her key ingredient is authentic Belgian chocolate. She makes milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and peppermint varieties, each selling for $6 each or 6 for $30.
Customers pick up their bombs each Saturday at 5243 N. Harlem.
For more information, visit The Purple Tulip Cakery online.