Feted French pastry chef and chocolatier Pierre Herme saluted the winning entrants for their "attention to detail, perseverance, commitment" in producing a dessert on the theme of wind and lightness at Chassieu, outside Lyon in eastern France.

"The level of competition rises with every edition, as witnessed by such very close results," said Herme.

Yann Brys, for the French runners-up, said he was disappointed.

"It's not the result we wanted -- placing second is always tough but it's a good showing nonetheless," he said.

Canada won a special eco-friendly prize. All entrants had to produce desserts without any colouring or additives on a theme of climate change.