‘I don’t think I can take more of this.’ Handshakes and high drama at the Bake Off semi-final

Semi-Final Week on the Great British Bake Off was as dramatic as promised. With a shock exit on the cards, we joined Chigs, Crystelle, Giuseppe and Jürgen as they tackled opera cakes, a sable Breton tart and the most difficult signature yet: a themed banquet display arranged around an edible centrepiece.

Hollywood and his handshakes spelled out doom from the beginning, with three out of four bakers receiving one for their signature. Matt Lucas claimed pressure fatigue, saying “I don’t think I can take much more of this.”

The technical caused Chigs to shout “I ain’t got a clue what’s going on,” and poor aul Jürgen dyed his hands red while navigating the whopping five-hour showstopper challenge

Guiseppe tried to hold it together when Matt tells him that his crème pâtissiere looks a “bit like a pooey porridge, at this stage,” and it was unclear who would be crowned Star Baker. 

In the end, it was time to say goodbye to the Jürgenator, who signed off saying “who wants to fly to the moon when you can be on Bake Off?”

Bakewell tart

recipe by:Michelle Darmody

Delight in this dense, traditional bakewell tart with raspberry jam and almonds, perfect with a pot of afternoon tea

Bakewell tart

Preparation Time

1 hours 15 mins

Total Time

1 hours 45 mins


  • 225g flour

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 140g cold butter, cut into cubes

  • 55g plus 125g caster sugar

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 125g butter at room temperature

  • 125g ground almonds

  • zest of 2 oranges

  • 1 tsp almond essence

  • 1 tbsp raspberry jam

  • handful of slivered almonds


  1. Mix the flour and salt together and rub in the cold butter until it looks like rough breadcrumbs, do not over mix.

  2. Stir the 55g of sugar into one of the eggs, mix it lightly until it begins to dissolve. Add this to the flour with a fork.

  3. Bring everything together with your hands then rest the pastry for an hour in the fridge or overnight.

  4. Heat your oven to 200°C and prepare a 9in round tin.

  5. Roll the pastry to fit the tin and gently press it into the base. Cover with a layer of parchment and some beans to weight it down.

  6. Bake blind for a quarter of an hour and remove, set aside to cool a little.

  7. Cream the 125g of soft butter and 125g of caster sugar together until pale.

  8. Add the ground almonds, one egg, the orange zest and the almond essence and mix together well.

  9. Spread the jam over the pastry case and then spoon the almond mixture on top, level out with a palette knife.

  10. Sprinkle with the slivered almonds and bake at 180°C for 30 to 35 minutes until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.

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