L’Alchimie du Chocolat
Ixelles: Rue des Hellènes 64, 1050 Ixelles, tel: 02 649 77 66
Waterloo: Chaussée de Tervuren 12, 1410 Waterloo. tel: 02 345 40 44
Hours: Tues. – Sat. 10:00am – 6:30pm
It’s a family affair at L’Alchimie du Chocolat with Monsieur Jean-Baptiste Jonné running the operation, his wife Arlette assisting customers behind the counter, and their son Jean-Sébastien joining him in the kitchen.
Being a chocolatier is a second career for Jonné. After 20 years in real estate, he decided to do something he felt passionate about. Building on his real estate experience and lifelong love of food, he moved to a career in chocolate and opened L’Alchimie du Chocolat in 2000 in the prime location of Ixelles.
Not only does the Jonné family work together in the business, but up until 2007, all the chocolates were made in the family’s kitchen. In 2007, they opened a second L’Alchimie du Chocolate in Waterloo with a large adjoining kitchen workshop visible from the retail shop through a large picture window. This allowed the Jonné’s to move the chocolate making operation out of the family home. But the tradition of living near the shop continues with son Jean-Sébastien living above the Waterloo store.
The Jonné family philosophy of making good chocolate is that one must always use the best and freshest ingredients. No concentrates, powders, or imitation flavorings are used in their chocolates. All flavors begin with the real product, whether it is getting the essence out of mint leaves or the citrus juices from a lemon.
Some of their signature chocolates involve fruit. Be sure to taste their passion fruit praline. In addition to chocolates with fruit, they sell handmade pâtes de fruit, or jellied fruit, and ice-creams and sorbets.
When you’re in the Waterloo shop, you won’t want to miss the specialty chocolate bark. The milk chocolate bark is mixed with hazel nuts. The dark chocolate has dried fruit. And the local favorite is the white chocolate bark with Rice Krispies. This is unlike any Rice Krispies treat you’ve ever had. Here you have melt-in-your-mouth white chocolate blended with Rice Krispies bringing simplicity and sophistication to this childhood favorite.
Before you dismiss white chocolate, keep in mind that Belgian white chocolate is an entirely different product than the white chocolate you may have tried elsewhere. Here, white chocolate is pure cocoa butter giving it an alluringly creamy texture with a delicate and smooth flavor. Once you try it, you’ll agree that Belgian white chocolate at L’Alchimie du Chocolat is worth every calorie.
In the original Ixelles shop, it became a tradition to sell tea. Their love of the connection between tea and chocolate includes using tea essence in chocolates as well as selling tea at both shops. In addition to selling teas, they offer a private label dessert wine “Pireau des Charentes” by Méry & Fils of France.
If you’re interested in learning how to make Belgian chocolates, L’Alchimie du Chocolat offers courses in their Waterloo kitchen workshop. Each course consists of 20 hours of instruction for 300€.