Series 1 · Episode 8
It’s week eight and the finish line is in sight. Last week our bakers served up desserts, with Jasmin taking out the title of Star Baker, but things weren’t so sweet for Nathan who bid his farewell to the Bake Off Shed. He became the 7th baker to leave the shed, leaving James the only male standing in the final five bakers. This week will see the five rolling out their pastry skills, with a Signature challenge of miniature savoury pastries, a Technical challenge of a Parisian pithivier and a Showstopping strudel.
Mel and Claire hand down the Signature challenge, telling the bakers they have two hours to bake 12 miniature savoury pastries, where six must be different from the remaining six. They can be made any type of pastry but they need to be uniform in size and shape and each six must be filled the same.
Matt is looking for a pastry that is going to burst with flavour and must have a balanced ratio of filling to pastry. Maggie will be keeping an eye out for the perfect pastry - is it buttery, is it flakey, is it crisp or does it melt in your mouth? She especially loves a country baked sausage roll.
Angela could be onto a good thing, deciding to bake pork, apple and sage sausage rolls served with her signature tomato relish. For her second dish she’ll be serving up vegetable samosa with yoghurt and mint. But is she taking a leap too far but using puff pastry for the samosa?
James will be baking a Spanish inspired smoky beef empanadas and for his second pastry, salmon and ginger galettes.
Suzy will be hoping to win over the judges with her Greek heritage, baking a feta cheese pastry and for her second dish will be packed with spinach and ricotta.
Next up is the Technical bake, with Maggie sharing her mushroom, thyme and leek pithivier recipe. It’s normally an almond pastry but Maggie’s adaptation is a yummy savory bake where the pastry is king. To test their skills, Maggie has left out some elements of the recipe and the bakers have a tight three hour timeframe. A pithivier has notorious reputation as one of the hardest tarts to bake and, with only five bakers left, this will be the trickiest Technical bake so far. Matt and Maggie are looking for a perfectly scored pastry on top, a well-seasoned filling and a flaky crunch to their pithivier. The judges blind taste the cakes in front of the bakers and then rank them 5-1.
There’s just one challenge left – the Showstopper. For this challenge, Matt and Maggie would like the bakers to make a wonderful strudel centerpiece. They can include as many toppings, fillings or flavourings as they like in the four hour bake. For Maggie, she’s looking for amazing pastry and flavours that meld together but not too sweet, and she does not want a soggy strudel.
For all the bakers, the making of the filo pastry will be the most stressful part of the challenge. All care must be taken to avoid the curse of the cracked strudel pastry.
Sian, who will making two batches of pastry in case one batch doesn’t rise to expectations, is baking a sour cherry, ricotta and almond strudel served with marzipan cherries. Jasmin will be serving a burnt caramel, apple, pear and pecan strudel, but she’s worried that the caramel sauce inside the strudel will be too runny. James is also going down the route of pear, making a pear and hazelnut strudel, topped with a chocolate and hazelnut praline.
It’s time for Maggie and Matt to taste the five wild inventions, deciding who will be this week’s Star Baker and who will be leaving the Bake Off Shed.
Loved Suzy's strudel from episode 8? Get her top tips here.
Other Episodes In This Series