Philippe Marand

Red Spinach Soft Cake


A key figure of the gourmet world, Philippe Marand's career has been an international one. He has been working in such hallmarks of Parisian cookery as the Hôtel Intercontinental, Dalloyau and the Ritz before serving as the ambassador of Lenôtre in premiere chocolaterie and pastry events all over the world. Since 1998, he has served as an international technical advisor with Cacao Barry®.

Philippe travels the world to share his expertise, always meeting new cultures that enrich his skills. He is regularly featured on TV and on the radio, in France and abroad. He won the Gold Medal in the Charles Proust contest and was named Disciple of Étienne Tholoniat and MOF finalist 2008. Philippe Marand is also co-inventor of the uses of Mycryo® cocoa butter in pastry making, chocolate confectionery and cooking.


"Mountain biking in the Dubai desert, where even a track has been built in the middle of it, is an opportunity to enjoy this sport in an unexpected dimension.
The desert is fascinating and allows to disconnect to from the very intense day to day life in Dubai."


Source of inspiration

"Being in Dubai the source of inspiration may be the architecture or the different textures you can see in the desert. I want to translate it into the texture of the dessert. What pushes me to get this raw texture on a smooth glaze is finding a nice contrast between the both!"




Of all the edible leaves available in the market, the vibrant colours of amaranth or Amaranthus dubius, also known as red spinach, Chinese spinach or yin choy (in Chinese) stand out in particular. 

It is difficult to trace the origins of the leaves, but renowned food historian KT Achaya writes in A Historical Companion to Indian Food that the Amaranthus tricolour, a salad leaf in beautiful hues of green, pink, brownish red and bright red, is probably of Indian origin which is historically closely connected with the food interest in Dubai.

Red Spinach


The flavours

Red spinach, Earl Grey tea and grenade are all flavours very related to the region. Red spinach for the reasons previously explained, Earl Grey tea as Dubai is a iconic port of the spice route, and Grenade which is an omnipresent fruit in the middle east.

Then Alunga™ 41% cacao milk chocolate couverture PFN came out as the obvious choice as milk chocolate and Earl Grey tea are a great match. The nice acidity and astringency of the grenade is closing the loop with nice taste of the red Spinach cake where a hint of Force Noire™ is helping to the right balance of all of it. Alunga™ with his high content of cocoa has brought so much to the whole recipe, it an amazing product to work with.