New chocolates at Aeronaut Brewing

Colin Price

“Chocolate is magical,” says chocolatier Alexandra Whisnant. “It’s a very expressive material.” The Cambridge resident runs chocolate business Gâté Comme Des Filles (translation: “spoiled like girls”), which she first launched in Paris, selling her confections at events and pop-up stores. The company’s name was inspired by a poem a French friend wrote. Now, she has opened a shop inside Aeronaut Brewing Co. in Somerville and makes hand-dipped and intensely flavored, artful chocolates (4 for $22; 9 for $43). Dark rounds made with Valrhona are filled with mulberry puree and shimmery from edible luster dust; passion fruit ganache is dipped in milk chocolate and decorated with a cocoa butter leopard print; lemony chocolate filling, like creme brulee, is enrobed in dark chocolate and adorned with candied Meyer lemon peel. Whisnant, 32, studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris during a semester abroad while she majored in physics at Duke University, and then interned at the famed Paris patisserie Laduree. She worked as a pastry cook at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., for two years, but gravitated to chocolate making. “Alice Waters was one of my first enthusiastic customers,” says Whisnant of the famed Chez Panisse owner and chef. Knowing she wanted to run her own business, Whisnant then got an MBA at Cornell University. She returned to Paris in 2012 for a year and then moved to San Francisco. One reason she took a circuitous route back to Cambridge, where she grew up: “I missed the winter.” Welcome home. Gâté Comme Des Filles chocolates at Aeronaut Brewing Co., 14 Tyler St., Somerville, or go to www.gatecommedesfilles.fr