For more than 13 years, Roger Borges was an entertainment reporter for Univision with a steady following. He moved on to Telemundo's morning talk show, Un Nuevo Dia, but left a year later, deciding to shine the spotlight full-time on his growing French brownie company, Oh Chocolat!
"It started two years ago when I was covering Nuestra Belleza Latina on Univision. I got home late, and my boyfriend had made brownies."
His boyfriend, Eric Bordenave, is a Parisian who loves to bake, but Borges didn't like brownies. "I don't like their consistency. Then I tried his, and was like, 'Oh, wow, these are amazing!'"
Borges took the leftovers to co-workers at Univision. A week later, someone handed him a list of colleagues wanting to place orders for more. He soon found himself delivering freshly baked brownies in little white boxes tied with ribbons.
Borges then decided to turn the hobby into a business. He started Oh Chocolat! in his apartment with the help of his parents.
It soon grew, and the family-run bakery now offers brownie varieties such as dark chocolate, Nutella, blondie, Oreo, and dark chocolate with coconut. The business also makes cookies and Bundt cakes filled with Nutella or strawberry preserves.
Unlike traditional American brownies, Oh Chocolat!'s are cut into bite-size squares and slightly refrigerated, allowing them to harden a bit and find a happy medium between brownie and fudge.
"The reason I don't like regular brownies is because they are mushy, almost cake-like. These are firmer and you can keep them in the fridge up to three weeks," the reporter-turned-baker says.
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The recipe remains a guarded secret, shared only with Borges' parents, who are still helping. The only thing he will reveal is that the chocolate comes from France. "We ship it or bring it. Last time I was in Paris, I brought 120 pounds of chocolate home," Borges says.
Collaborations with local restaurants such as Dr. Limón, Estefan Kitchen, and Finka Table & Tap have helped put his product on the Miami map, and Oh Chocolat's! Instagram page presents new flavors and seasonal designs.
Holiday offerings include towers of treats. A three-box tower costs $35, and each box contains a different kind of brownie. A petite duo ($18.50) comes with two boxes of brownies. A small box ($8.25) makes an affordable gift. The company is set to debut a new brownie flavor, peppermint with dark chocolate. Borges is taking Christmas orders and recommends placing them sooner rather than later.
Oh Chocolat!. 770 Claughton Island Dr., Miami, and 11330 SW 49th St., Miami; 305-542-8190; ohchocolat.com. Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily for pre-order pickup. Minimum $50 order for deliveries in Miami.