‘The Great British Bake Off’: Pastry Week 2021

Week Six – Pastry Week.

We’re halfway through The Great British Bake Off 2021 and our bakers are met with some of the toughest challenges yet. Fiddly filo pastry and tricky terrine pies saw our seven remaining bakers crumbling under the pressure to avoid leaking pies and cracks in their pastry. Who will receive golden praise this week and who will find themselves at the soggy bottom? 


Signature Challenge – Two Batches of Decorated Chouxnuts.

This week Paul and Prue kicked off pastry week by asking our bakers to bake two batches of decorated chouxnuts, six filled, six not filled and either glazed or iced. If you’re sitting reading this and wondering what on earth chouxnuts are, I’ve got your back. Chouxnuts, or as Lizzie calls them, ‘devils doughnuts’, is choux pastry piped into a doughnut shape and deep fried – just imagine a deep fried profiterole doughnut. Amanda decided to take an American approach to her first batch of chouxnuts with maple and bacon, and will serve it alongside a batch of rose glazed chouxnuts filled with pistachio crème pâtissière. Like Amanda, Lizzie also hopes to make the judges rosy eyed with a batch of floral chouxnuts flavoured with raspberry liqueur and filled with hibiscus buttercream. Chigs dares to go where no other baker is willing to go by making two different choux pastries, one plain and one chocolate with his ‘Oo La La Chouxnuts’, but will the risk pay off? 

It’s time for the judges to give our bakers some highly feared feedback on their ‘devil’s doughnuts’. Chigs is praised for his flavour combination of chocolate and lime, the judges found the flavours ‘unusual’ but told Chigs that they work. Despite his attempt to impress the judges with two different choux pastries, Chigs was told that the amount of filling in the chouxnut means that they cannot see the structure. Now it’s time to find out who will win the fight of the flowers; Lizzie comes out on top with the judges telling her that they would buy her pastries in a shop as they have good structure, great colour and an attractive aesthetic. In the struggle for balance, Amanda was told that her maple and bacon chouxnuts were delicious but needed more bacon and her floral chouxnuts were too sweet and too rosy. Let’s hope that the technical challenge will help Amanda to save her bacon in one of the trickiest weeks we’ve seen so far. 

Technical Challenge – Large Baklava with Filo Pastry.

This week it is Paul who will choose what the bakers will make for the technical challenge, and what will be the source of their inevitable meltdown. This week’s technical challenge is to make a large baklava with filo pastry using the traditional laminating technique. The baklava should be layered with a pistachio and walnut filling and be cut into a star design – Paul doesn’t want much, does he? Crystelle hopes to redeem herself from her previous performances in the technical challenge as she tells herself “I just need to tell myself that I have a functioning brain and hopefully my brain will function and I will do a technical challenge successfully” – I’ve got to say, I can’t fault that approach. The bakers all show their dismay at having to make filo pastry, especially using the laminating method, with Giuseppe telling us that “It’s a massive hassle, just buy it!”. Nobody seems to be confident with this week’s technical challenge and it’s becoming harder to call who will pull ahead. 

It’s the dreaded time for judgement and in a turn of events from previous weeks, it’s Lizzie who finds herself in seventh place for having ‘no finesse’. George followed closely in sixth place, who like Lizzie was criticised for his ‘clumsy’ bake. It looks like Crystelle’s method of telling her brain to function worked! Crystelle came in second place with her ‘absolutely beautiful’ baklava. Leading the middle of the pack are Amanda in fifth, Giuseppe in fourth and Chigs in third, but it is the ‘Jürgenator’ once again who found himself in first position for his pastry’s beautiful colour and pattern. 

Showstopper Challenge – Intricate Terrine Pie.

It’s time for the final challenge of pastry week and this one is not for the faint hearted. Paul and Prue ask our bakers to make an intricate terrine pie with an ornate pastry decoration on the outside and should reveal a neat pattern or design when the pie is cut open. Crystelle hopes to impress the judges with ‘Lily Nana’s Pickle Cottage’ with potato, cumin, peanut and chicken as well as pickling spices and kashmiri chilli powder. Crystelle’s bake features an intricate design, but will the high water content of her filling have Lily Nana’s cottage springing a leak? Carrying on with her floral theme from the signature challenge, Amanda will bake a ‘Fancy Terrine Pie’ decorated with pastry flowers and filled with fennel sausage meat and chicken pâte wrapped in bacon. Getting into the Christmas spirit, George will bake a ‘Christmas Dinner Pie’ with a decorative print and with duck and turkey stuffing and a bacon and carrot wrapped sausage. Will the judges see George’s pie as a gift, or will he be receiving a lump of coal in his stocking? 

George is heavy with his egg wash and has to take his pie out for restorative measures and Amanda’s pie lid falls off, leaving all of the bakers in the tent and all of us watching at home feeling as though we are watching open heart surgery. It is time for the judges to give feedback on the pies, or rather what’s left of them. Amanda is commended for her pie being very pretty, but unfortunately the judges pointed out that her bake is bone dry and the seasoning is too strong. Unlike Amanda’s bone dry bake, George finds his critiques at the other end of the spectrum with an underbaked pastry and mushy sausage filling. In a rare occasion we see Paul giving Crystelle a Hollywood handshake for her charming and witty pie which the judges praised for its lovely layers, colour and beautiful design.


It’s a week of tough decisions for Paul and Prue as they discuss who’s at the top and the bottom; the judges deem Giuseppe and Crystelle as contenders for star baker and George and Amanda at the bottom. Ultimately, it was Crystelle who pulled ahead and won star baker! Crystelle seemed shocked at her win but with her amazing skills, it is no shock to us. With the highs of the week, it’s unfortunately time to find out who will be leaving the Bake Off tent. Sadly it was Amanda who had to leave us this week, but always one to look on the brightside, Amanda penned a letter to express her joy for her fellow bakers and she wrote, ‘I am sad to be leaving but so proud and happy for my friends that remain.’ Amanda has certainly done herself proud and we will miss hearing her infectious laugh in the Bake Off tent.

Bake Off Kitchen Appliances.

You may have noticed the beautiful appliances in the Bake Off tent, with hidden oven doors and pastel fridges, the tent was designed for beauty and ease. If you are wondering where to purchase these items, you can read more about the appliances here

Previous Bake Off Posts:

If you have enjoyed reading about Pastry Week, you can catch up on what happened in German Week, Bread Week, Dessert Week, Biscuit Week and Cake Week by clicking on the links.

Paul Hollywood’s Baklava.

I know it looked daunting but if this week’s episode of Bake Off has inspired you to try out your pastry skills, why not try to bake Paul Hollywood’s Baklava recipe as seen in the technical challenge? Below I have outlined all the ingredients, equipment and steps you will need to take to bake the perfect baklava.

Makes: 48 pieces

Hands-On Time: One Hour, plus resting and cooling

Baking Time: One Hour


The Filo Pastry:

  • 50g of unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing.
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 2tsp of baking powder
  • 1tbsp of white wine vinegar 
  • 170g of full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500g of plain flour
  • 200g of cornflour, for sprinkling
  • 90ml of vegetable oil

The Syrup:

  • 1 large unwaxed lemon, sliced
  • 1tbsp of rosewater
  • 300g of runny honey
  • 135g of caster sugar
  • 200ml of water

The Filling:

  • 350g of finely chopped pistachios
  • 350g of finely chopped walnuts
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 1tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1tbsp of ground cardamom

To Assemble:

  • 400g of salted butter, melted

To Decorate:

  • 2tsp of edible dried rose petals
  • 75g of finely ground pistachios


  • 30cm sandwich tin, greased and baselined with baking paper
  • Three Mixing Bowls
  • Sieve
  • Baking Tray or Plate
  • Clean Tea Towel
  • Pan
  • Heatproof Jug
  • Spoon
  • Knife
  • Oven Gloves


Step One: 

To begin making your pastry, sift your flour, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl and create a well in the centre. In your second mixing bowl, whisk together your yoghurt, eggs, vegetable oil and vinegar until the mixture is smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the mixing bowl that contains the flour and bring it all together to form the dough.

Step Two:

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for ten minutes until the dough is smooth. Once smooth, divide your dough into six even pieces. Shape each of the even pieces into a ball and place them onto a baking tray or plate, cover the dough with a clean tea towel and leave them to rest for fifteen minutes.

Step Three:

Whilst the dough has been left to rest, you can now begin to make your syrup. Place your honey, sugar and lemon slices into a pan and pour in 200ml of water. You will want to bring the boil over to a medium heat and stir the mix until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat and leave the mixture for five minutes to simmer and infuse. Remove the syrup from the heat, pour the mixture into a heatproof jug and stir in the rosewater and leave it to cool. 

Step Four:

Lightly dust your work surface with cornflour and roll out of the balls into a circle of approximately 30cm diameter. Dust the top of the circle with cornflour and fold the right-hand edge to the centre of the circle and the left-hand edge to the centre so that they meet.

Step Five:

Dust the folded circle again with cornflour and fold the top down to the centre of the circle and the bottom up to the centre in order to create a rough square shape.

Step Six:

Dust the folded square shape again with cornflour and take each corner and fold them inwards so that they meet in the middle to make a smaller square.

Step Seven:

Dust the folded square with cornflour and repeat the previous step, folding the corners into the middle once again to make a smaller square. Turn the dough over so that the edges that join are underneath and leave it to rest for fifteen minutes.

Step Eight:

Repeat this process with the remaining balls of dough until you have six small squares.

Step Nine:

Now you are going to make the filling by mixing the walnuts, cinnamon, sugar and pistachios together in a mixing bowl.

Step Ten:

To assemble the baklava, you will need to roll out one of the squares of dough to a rough 30cm-diameter circle. Using the sandwich tin as a rough guide, cut a neat 30cm circle and place it in the base of the sandwich tin. If there are any trimmings left over, place them evenly on top.

Step Eleven:

Repeat the previous process with your second square of dough, placing the pastry circle on top of the previous one and again placing any trimmings on top. Repeat this process once more with another square of dough and trimmings. Once you have placed the dough, spoon the nut mixture evenly over the top of the three layers.

Step Twelve:

Repeat the layering process with the remaining square of dough to make three more layers of filo, placing the trimmings from the top layer of filo on top of the fifth layer so that the top of the baklava is flat without trimmings.

Step Thirteen: 

Cut the baklava into the star shape design, slicing through all of the layers down to the base. Pour the melted butter over the top and leave the baklava to stand for ten minutes whilst the pastry absorbs the butter. Meanwhile, you need to heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/325°F/Gas 3.

Step Fourteen:

Once the oven has reached the desired heat, bake the baklava for one hour until the top is golden and crisp and remove from the oven. Strain the cooled syrup that you made earlier through a sieve and pour it over the baklava. Leave the baklava to soak in the syrup for fifteen minutes before removing the baklava pieces from the tin.

Step Fifteen:

Finally, you will need to decorate your baklava by sprinkling the ground pistachios over the baklava and finish by placing the rose petals on top.

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