Primary Location: Avenue J&P Carosel 7, 1180 Bruxelles
Additional Location: Chaussée de Charleroi 63, 1060 Bruxelles
Owner: Karine Carvalho
Parking: The Uccle location has plenty of street parking.
Public Transportation: The Uccle location is near the 92 Tram (St. Job stop) and the local train (St. Job stop). It is also along the 60 Bus route.
Everything about Ma Chocolatiere is chocolate with a woman’s touch. First of all, the name of the shop is the feminine conjugation in French for “my chocolate shop.” Then you have the open and airy decor of the flagship store and café (winner of the Most Beautiful Shop in Uccle for 2010) with its crisp color scheme of lime green against rich chocolate browns. And the chocolates, in a word…yum.
Owner Karine Carvalho opened Ma Chocolatiere in 2009. Originally from France, Carvalho came to Belgium in 1996 to train at a luxury hotel after finishing hotel and catering school in Paris. Her first foray into chocolate was with a partner, but she eventually bought him out and went it alone.
At Ma Chocolaterie you’ll find 35 different chocolates to choose from. Her signature praline is a ganache with speculoos. Carvalho’s creations are based on what she likes. In addition to the traditional Belgian chocolate pralines you would expect such as hazelnut and almond, you’ll find chocolates with honey and sesame. One of my favorites is her chocolate with caramel. This is a caramel with a Belgian flair; the taste and texture is more akin to a graceful ganache than a straight gooey caramel candy.
The names she gives her chocolates are significant. The Candice, a ganache with speculoos, is named after her first daughter. The Alixe, a ganache with orange flower, honors her second daughter.
For the mature customer looking for an exotic twist, you’ll find chocolate blocks depicting the Kamasutra in both milk and dark chocolate for 14 euros (6 pieces per box).
Her shop in Uccle is also a café serving coffee, tea, ice cream, warm waffles, and the house specialty, hot chocolate. This is a satisfying cup of rich liquid chocolate. It is thick and rich, not dense and heavy. You can enjoy an entire cup without feeling like you just drank brownie mix.
When you’re in the café, be sure to look up at the glass ceiling that serves as a window into the kitchen upstairs. While sipping your hot chocolate you can watch chocolates being made.
For Carvalho, good chocolates begin with good ingredients and no preservatives. She uses high quality chocolate, preferring chocolate from South and Central America. Her chocolates are always fresh–made at her shop each week.
In addition to chocolates, you can find other handmade products where it’s all in the family. Carvalho sells jams made from fruit from her father-in-law’s orchards and honey from her brother-in-law’s bee hives.