Great British Bake Off series 5 contestant Kate Henry gives her verdict on last night's pimped-up pies and soggy fingers in Victorian week...
Last week saw lovely Alvin leave the tent and Mat get star baker. This week we are seeing something bake off haven’t done before. It’s Victorian week, harping back to traditional recipes from the Victorian era which have helped shape the way we bake today.
Flora is wearing a frock to celebrate the occasion and I am very excited as all sorts of old fashioned tins are coming out for the first challenge which is a game pie.
Mat’s using ‘Dangerous Dave’s mum, Sheila’s tin. Who is Dangerous Dave? Will he be annoyed that Mat’s got his Mum’s tin? I’m starting to feel concerned.
The pies are all made with a hot water crust, I love this pastry as it is easier than other pastries and there is no chilling time. It is hard to get the balance right between too thin – contents leaking, and too thick –a bit yuck.
Flora has spent the entire three hour challenge in a total panic, I remember that feeling. The tent can do funny things to your head. We used to call it ‘tent-head’. It happens to everyone. Rational decision making goes out the window.
Tamal and Nadiya’s pies sound wonderful they are both using an array of spices. I love the ideas.
Tamal triumphs with his beautiful Arabian Knights pie but sadly Nadiya’s spices have overwhelmed. Flora’s pie is overfilled as she suspected and her pigeon was a bit chewy but I thought the pie looked lovely if not a teensy bit burnt on the top.
The technical looms and it’s a Victorian tennis cake. A rich fruit cake (in the shape of a brick!) decorated with a sugar paste and marzipan tennis court on top. The baking side of this isn’t the difficulty, it’s more that this kind of precision decorating takes time and that’s the one thing the baker do not have.
Nadiya comes top of the class even though she doesn’t know what a tennis court looks like and Mat – who manages to make a radio-active sugar paste and for some reason decides to bake his after he has iced it- comes bottom. I blame the ‘tent head’.
The final challenge is a Charlotte Russe, a bavarois filled cake (essentially a custard mousse set with gelatine) held together with ladies’ fingers (cue sniggering).
I like this challenge, it has lots of tricky elements but the bakers generally do pretty well. Mat’s unfortunately gains a leak and Paul’s jelly is a bit gushy. Ian creates a ladies’ finger crown and everyone claps but Tamal, Oh Tamal – you’ve made me go all gooey with your hidden jelly sandwich.
It’s star baker for you this week as the delightful Mat leaves the tent – well at least Dangerous Dave’s Mum, Sheila gets her tin back, that could have turned nasty.
I just have one question, what exactly is dangerous about Dave?
Next week it’s the quarter finals.
Check out some of Kate’s latest baking…