Prepping for Pastry Week (GBBO 2015)

It’s pastry week on Bake Off tomorrow. And then I will miss two weeks worth. I can’t BELIEVE I am going to miss the Victorian recipes next week. Obviously I will record it and catch up when I get home but it’s not the same.

I am totally on board with the shoe choices of both Mel and Sue.
I am totally on board with the shoe choices of both Mel and Sue.

First up in the signature round – frangipane tarts. Shortcrust pastry filled with what should be very smooth frangipane cream. God only knows what strange combinations of flavours will be concocted and presented for judgment. Nothing so ordinary as simple fruit. And therein – the trap. If you focus too much on being “different” you may neglect the consistency issue with the frangipane and Mary – as we know – is all about the consistency.

peach tart
A quite traditional peach and nectarine tart. Looks delicious!

The technical challenge is one of Paul’s this week and Paul never misses a chance to remind everyone that he once lived in Cyprus – hence the choice this week, flaouna. No, I’d never heard of it either but it is apparently a traditional cheese-filled pastry from that land.


Not only have the bakers never heard of the dish, they’ve not heard of some of the ingredients either. Oh, and I gather it is – um – rather odiferous.

And the showstopper challenge? Vol-au-vents – a veritable minefield in pastry. There’s the whole process of making the pastry – will it chill, is there enough butter, are there enough layers. And then – there is the result. The pastry must be light and delicate, the filling delicious but not so heavy or damp that it gives the pastry they worked so hard on the dreaded soggy bottom.

I’m quite partial to mushroom vol-au-vents.

Some bakers – and I think we know who they are – are going to use ingredients with too much moisture in them.

So – everyone ready for tomorrow?

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