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Great British Bake Off – Pastry Week

GBBO Pastry weekThis week the seven remaining bakers tackle pastry. My idea of hell! The best I can do is open a packet of shortcrust or filo….and that is why I’m not in that tent!

Signature bake – The judges have asked the bakers for a Frangipane tart with an open top using shortcrust pastry. Not a packet in sight and hopefully not a soggy bottom. Paul went for a Christmas tart with lots of festive flavours such as cinnamon and orange. Mat went for a Pina Colada tart – fabulous! A couple of the bakers decided not to blind bake their pastry. Will this be their undoing? Once the pastry is baked it was time to top with the Frangipane mixture and onto the decoration. Alvin however decided to leave one minute to spare before bringing his tart out of the oven. He didn’t look happy and nor should he – the tart hadn’t cooked and neither were his plums.

Technical challenge – 12 identical Flaounas….these are cheese filled pastries which are traditionally made in Cyprus to celebrate Lent. Mary was quite astounded that Paul had chosen this for the bakers to make as it really is something none of the bakers had ever heard of. This pastry also contains yeast which rather confused things too. The next confusing bit was how to fold these pastries. Lots of different shapes were invented but which one was correct? Mat’s seemed to be the nearest to the correct shape and tasted good which earned him first place in this challenge.

Show stopper – Mary and Paul have taken us right back to 1970 and requested the bakers make 48 vol-au-vents. They have to make their own puff pastry from scratch and fill their vol-au-vents with two different fillings, 24 of each. The puff pastry really is a tough job with lots of rolling, folding and chilling. Flora, as usual, decided to go completely over the top by making one lot of chocolate puff pastry. Should be interesting. She certainly got some glares off Paul and Mary! Poor Nadiya had to make a second batch of puff pastry as her first attempt just wasn’t good enough so she was way behind the other bakers. However, the second attempt wasn’t much better bless her. Then it came to the bakers stuffing their vol-au-vents. There were some perfectly stuffed, others which had been crammed using no piping bag and then Nadiya who didn’t really manage to fill any of hers. Mat did very well with his two batches and impressed the judges.

Star baker this week thanks to their vol-au-vents goes to Mat. Waving goodbye to a very rainy tent is Alvin. Poor chap – who will call Paul Hollywood ‘Sir’ now?! Next week we can look forward to Victorian recipes.

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