I am Hilde Devolder and I am the owner of a chocolate shop in Ghent since October 2010.
My slogan is:
‘I love chocolate. I love art. I love beauty. So I try to combine all of this in what I make with chocolate in my shop in Ghent, Belgium. And you? Do you like chocolate?’
‘Small ánd sophisticated’ has always been my starting point.
That’s why I chose a concept of small chocolates with lots of flavor. This was by minimizing added sugar. So I kill two birds with one stone.
By making small chocolates you can taste more flavors without eating too much chocolate. You can easily taste three different flavors instead of one large chocolate. Occasionally there is a larger chocolate in the box, this is mainly for the visual aspect, and so, those who would rather have it, pick out a larger chocolate.
Using less sugar is better for everyone’s health. Chocolate is not known as healthy by scientists. High-quality chocolate is a treat and with less sugar, everyone benefits.
The chocolates are made mainly with Valrhona chocolate and for the fillings I sometimes use a bean-to-bar chocolate and Casa Luker 1906 chocolate. Furthermore, the ingredients are as much as possible organic and I’m always looking for high quality.
The hazelnut butter and the vegetable cream are produced by myself.
The most popular ones are the lavender chocolate and the salted caramel chocolate.
The lavender chocolate is composed of a white, velvety-smooth chocolate ganache with essential oil of lavender, covered with a thin layer of dark chocolate and decorated with a lavender flower.
The salted caramel is a caramel ganache on the basis of unrefined cane sugar with hand picked fleur de sel, covered with a thin layer of chocolate and decorated with a few grains of fleur de sel.
For vegans and those with allergies, there is a nice range which varies regularly. It is of course all about chocolates coated with a thin layer of dark chocolate. The ginger chocolate, the hazelnut chocolate, cranberry chocolate and the marzipan chocolate are one of them. The ‘Assortment chocolates‘ page provides a complete overview of all chocolates indicating ingredients, allergens and whether they are suitable for vegans.
Besides chocolates you will also find a wide range of other artisan and homemade chocolate products:
- thin mendiants with nuts and seeds
- tuiles with 13 different nuts – berries – seeds – fruits
- thin squares
- orangettes, gingerettes and different pâte de fruits covered with dark chocolate
- large and small bars with delicious hazelnuts from Piedmont
- bars of different chocolates and/or origins
- marzipan bars.
In addition to this, we also offer an extensive range of Belgian bean-to-bar chocolate, and, by extension, bean-to-bar chocolate from around the world.
From the United States, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Grenada, Iceland, Denmark, Scotland, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Poland, Lithuania, Madagascar to Vietnam and Indonesia.
Most of them are not only excellent chocolate makers, but real artists. These bars are often visually very appealing and the packaging is often a graphical treat.
In our webshop you will find a selection of our product range.
At our chocolate shop you can also find an extensive range of nuts and fruit covered with chocolate, crunchy pearls, chocolate pearls with spices and couverture chocolate to get started with at home.
It’s a challenge to keep in control of everything and still ensure that the offer is regularly adapted to the seasons, trends and ever changing market.
I produce the chocolates and the related products myself in my open atelier and I am solely responsible for the sales in the store.
Besides that there is the website, webshop, administration, maintenance and many solutions to be found in unexpected situations.
Fortunately I can count on help regularly to make sure everything runs smoothly.
I hereby invite you to come out to try and sniff the delicious smell coming from the atelier.
It is also an ideal opportunity to get to know the bean-to-bar chocolate.
Every bean-to-bar chocolate maker operates according to its own vision, method and taste. But they all have something in common. They are all passionate and they try to work directly with cocoa farmers or they are assisted by an expert purchasing high quality beans.
This method goes further than fair trade. Because the chain is kept short, you can be sure that you are doing your bit when you buy one of these bars.
There is something for everyone. Also for the people with allergies or for those who like more the white or the milk chocolate.
However, the range of the dark chocolate is the biggest.
For the 100% chocolate fans, its heaven on earth at our place.
If you wish, I like to give some more information about what is written above.
Chocolate products of high quality? What do I mean by that?
- When you compare the quality of many products that are produced now with the quality of the products that were formerly produced, than you have to admit that we have lost a lot on flavor and healthy ingredients. That’s why I’m looking for flavorful ingredients and I use as many organic products as possible taking into consideration the environment, animals and humans.
Sophisticated chocolate? What do I mean by that?
- As you can find in the British dictionary, nothing more, nothing less: ‘having refined or cultured tastes and habits’, ‘ appealing to sophisticates’, ‘unduly refined or cultured’, ‘pretentiously or superficially wise’, ‘(of machines, methods, etc) complex and refined’.
Why I do everything myself?
- For me this works currently the best. I do not run a company, but an exercise in craft. It’s become clear to me over the years that the two go hard together but advices are always welcome ;-).
So why ask for help?
- During busy periods it is impossible to do this without help. Fortunately I can count on Peter for that, he assists me as much as he can. Thank you for that!
What’s so special about these chocolates?
- Our own recipes of the chocolates are very simple in composition. I always work with just a few ingredients. For a chocolate with a ganache filling that is: chocolate + vegetable cream + honey + coconut oil + possibly an additional ingredient which is typical for that particular chocolate. For a chocolate with a praline filling that is: nut butter or a puree of seeds + chocolate + optionally an additional ingredient that is typical for that particular chocolate. For a chocolate with marzipan that is: marzipan + optionally an ingredient this is typical for that particular chocolate. This method has as a result that the chocolates have a very limited shelf life, a maximum of two weeks.
- The basic ganache contains only vegetable cream of our own production and honey and coconut oil of organic origin.
- De basic praline is 100% nut butter or tahine. Hazelnut butter is of own production. Almond butter, cashew butter, pistachio butter and tahine are of organic origin. Walnut butter and peanut butter are not of organic origin.
- The coconut, lavender, rose, cardamom, cranberries, cashew nut, macadamia nut, blueberries, sesame seeds, chia seeds are of organic origin.
- There are never added preservatives or flavoring agents, except for the marzipan.
- The organic dark chocolate around the chocolates contains 70% cocoa solids from Peru and the organic milk chocolate around the pralines contains 39% cocoa solids from Peru.
- The chocolates contain only the sugar that is present in the chocolate, except for the recipe of the salted caramel. The sugar used for this chocolate is unrefined organic cane sugar.
- The best way to keep the chocolates is to store them in a dark, cool and dry place. During the summer you can keep the chocolates in the refrigerator in a tightly closed box.
- All chocolates contain soy lecithin.
- Few of the bean-to-bars don’t contain soy lecithin.