And lo we are come to week seven. Five contestant remained as we went into a week of challenges all based around Victorian baking.
Signature time and Tamal, Flora, Paul, Mat and Nadiya have to make… game pie. That’s pastry wrapped around whatever you managed to shoot this morning while out on a jaunt.
Mat had a genuine Victorian pie tin, which was most impressive, and Ian admitted that his was a roadkill pie. Probably not the best thing to say on television.
Tamal pretty much comes out on top with a fine bake, and earns a handshake from Paul Hollywood. Mat and Ian do decent work too.
On to the technical, and it’s called a Tennis Cake. Which is a fruity cake that has a tennis court on the top. Naturally.
Everyone is game to give it a try, especially the bit where you have to create a net out of icing. Paul and Nadiya come out the best of quite a messy round.
Finally it was time for the Showstopper – a complicated creation called Charlotte Russe. Jellied stuff encased by sponge fingers were called for, basically trying to create a prison for a wet thing out of very dry things.
The mixtures of fillings looked delicious but it was all too much for some of the remaining pack.
The results came in, with a Star Baker prize for Tamal – who looked like his life was now complete. On the other side of the coin, it was curtains for Mat. Who didn’t seem at all surprised after a nightmare of a week.
Next week, it’s the time of the Patisserie but before all that check out some top recipes from Mary Berry and Tamal.
By Mary Berry
Mary’s light fruit cake is covered with marzipan and fondant icing to look like a tennis court, but you can easily adapt it to your sport of choice. A great birthday cake for sports fans!
[You will need a deep 23x15cm/9x6in rectangular cake tin and 4 nozzles for piping (no. 2 writing nozzle, no. 3 writing nozzle, no. 7 small star nozzle and no. 8 medium star nozzle).]
For the cake
350g/12oz red or natural glacé cherries, cut into quarters
1 x 225g tin pineapple in natural juice, drained and roughly chopped
350g/12oz ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
100g/3½oz blanched almonds, roughly chopped
2 lemons, finely grated zest only
250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened
250g/9oz caster sugar
5 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
250g/9oz self-raising flour
75g/2½oz ground almonds
For the almond paste
250g/9oz ground almonds
150g/5½oz caster sugar
150g/5½oz icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for rolling
1 free-range egg (preferably pasteurised)
1 tsp almond essence
For the royal icing
3 egg whites (preferably pasteurised)
675g/1lb 8oz icing sugar, sifted
gel food colouring in dusky pink and autumn leaf
For the fondant
4 leaves gelatine
4 tbsp liquid glucose
1½ tsp glycerine
500g/1lb 2oz icing sugar
gel food colouring in mint green
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Grease a 23x15cm/9x6in rectangular cake tin. Line the base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment.
Put the cherries in a sieve and rinse under running water then drain well. Dry the pineapple and cherries very thoroughly using kitchen paper.
Place all the fruits and nuts in a bowl with the lemon zest and gently mix together.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, with a spoonful of flour to prevent the mixture curdling. Fold in the remaining flour and ground almonds. Lightly fold in the fruit and nuts then pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Level the surface.
Bake for 2 hours, or until golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil after 1 hour to prevent the top becoming too dark.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.
For the almond paste, mix the ground almonds, caster sugar and icing sugar in a bowl. Stir in the egg and almond essence. Knead in the bowl to form a stiff paste but don’t over-knead as this will make the paste oily. Wrap in cling film and set aside.
For the royal icing, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they become frothy. Mix in the sifted icing sugar a tablespoonful at a time. You can do this with a hand-held electric whisk but keep the speed low. Beat the icing until it is very stiff and white and stands up in peaks. Cover the surface of the icing with cling film.
For the fondant, place the gelatine, 2 tablespoons water, glucose and glycerine in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water and heat until the gelatine has dissolved (do not allow the water to boil or the gelatine to get too hot). Remove from the heat.
Sieve half of the icing sugar into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the gelatine mixture and using a wooden spoon mix together. Sieve the remaining sugar onto the work surface and tip the mixture onto it. Knead together until the fondant is smooth and pliable. Reserve a thumb size piece of the white fondant and wrap in clingfilm. Little by little, add mint green food colouring to the remaining fondant and knead to a pale pistachio green colour. Wrap in clingfilm to prevent it drying out.
Roll out the almond paste on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, to a rectangle slightly larger than the cake. Neatly cut out a 23x15cm/9x6in rectangle and place on silicon sheet dusted with icing sugar (this will enable you to slip the almond paste on top of the cake, once the cake has cooled).
Roll out the green fondant on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, to a rectangle slightly larger than the cake. Neatly cut out a 23x15cm/9x6in rectangle and carefully place on top of the almond paste.
Divide the royal icing equally between 3 bowls. Colour one bowl pale dusky pink and colour the second bowl a light gold colour, using the autumn leaf colouring. Leave the third bowl white.
Spoon most of the white royal icing into a piping bag fitted with a number 3 writing nozzle. Pipe the outline of a tennis court on top of the green fondant, leaving a 2cm/¾in gap around the edge.
On a sheet of greaseproof paper or a silicon mat, pipe the outline of 2 small tennis rackets (approx. 5cm/2½in long) and a tennis net about 12x3cm/4½x1¼in (it should be the same width as the court you piped onto the cake). Spoon the remaining white icing into a piping bag fitted with a number 2 plain nozzle and pipe the strings of the tennis racket within the tennis racket outline and the strings of the net within the outline of the net. Leave to dry until you can peel them off the paper.
Spoon the pink icing into a piping bag fitted with the number 8 star nozzle and spoon the gold icing into a piping bag fitted with the number 7 star nozzle. Using the pink and the gold icing, pipe a decorative border around the edge of the fondant.
When the cake has cooled, gently lift the decorative iced layer of almond paste and fondant onto the cake.
Pipe a line of white icing across the middle of the tennis court. Peel the net off the greaseproof paper and stick it on the line of icing, so it stands up on top of the cake. Lay the iced tennis rackets on either end of the court and finally roll a small tennis ball from the reserved fondant.
Middle-Eastern Game Pie
Gentle spices and dried fruits give this traditional game pie a taste of the Middle East.
For the spice mix
2½ tsp ras-el-hanout
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder
For the filling
350g/12oz Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes (280g/10oz after peeling)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
280g/10oz rabbit meat, cubed
280g/10oz pigeon breast, cubed
120g/4¼oz venison, cubed
280g/10oz lamb mince (about 20% fat)
25g/1oz dried barberries (available online)
100g/3½oz dried apricots, cut into thirds
60g/2¼oz whole blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
100g/3½oz full-fat Greek yoghurt
4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
4 tbsp date molasses
1¼ tsp table salt
For the hot water crust pastry
80g/2¾oz unsalted butter
140g/5oz lard, plus extra for greasing
1 tsp table salt
300g/10½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
300g/10½oz strong white bread flour
1 large free-range egg, beaten for egg wash
To make the spice mix, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Fill a small pan with boiling water and place on a medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes. They should be softened but still hold their shape.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil and then add the spice mix. Fry for 1 minute on a medium heat then add the chopped meats and brown them on a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the minced lamb and cook on medium for a further 1 minute. Add the potatoes, dried fruit and toasted almonds. Finally, add the Greek yoghurt, pomegranate and date molasses and cook until incorporated and slightly reduced. Season with the salt. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly while you make the pastry.
For the hot water crust pastry, add the butter, lard, salt and 240ml/8½fl oz water to a medium saucepan and heat until the lard is melted.
Mix the flours together in a bowl and add the melted lard mixture. Mix using a wooden spoon until formed into a smooth dough.
When cool enough to handle, knead briefly and set aside a third of the dough. Dust the worktop and rolling pin with plain flour and roll the pastry out to 4mm thick.
Line a 20cm/8in springform cake tin with the pastry, then add the filling and brush the edge of the pastry with egg wash. Roll out two-thirds of the remaining pastry to make the pie lid. Cover the pie and crimp the edges to seal. Make a hole in the middle to allow steam to escape while the pie cooks.
Thinly roll out the remaining pastry and cut out leaf shapes of varying sizes and stick these on the top of the pie using egg wash.
Brush the top of the pie with more egg wash and bake for 1½ hours. After 1 hour, check the pie is cooking evenly and move it around in the oven if necessary.
While the pie is baking, shape any remaining pastry into roses to decorate the top and small diamonds to decorate the sides of the pie. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and bake the diamonds for 10 minutes and the roses for 25 minutes.
Once the pie is cooked, carefully remove the sides of the tin. Attach the diamonds to the side of the pie using egg wash. Brush egg onto the base of each of the roses and attach to the top of the pie. Bake the pie for 5 minutes to cook the egg wash.
Serve the pie warm or cold.
Next week is the quarter-finals of The Great British Bake Off 2015 – airing at 8pm on BBC One on Wednesday.