Belfast Telegraph

Bake Off Andrew survives fudged floral cake round

By Allan Preston

Andrew Smyth, the baking engineer from Holywood, has barely scraped through to the seventh round of the Great British Bake Off.

For Botanical Week, there were tears for the 25-year-old who said he was a "lucky duck" to stay in the competition after finishing second last.

From the start he was struggling to find form as he was tested on his meringue skills.

Inspired by his mum's "killer key lime pie", Andrew said he brought the same citrus flavours to his tangy lime and ginger meringue pie.

As the clock was ticking Andrew asked fellow contestant Tom Hollander: "Is your meringue okay, mine is awful?"

However, judge Paul Hollywood said: "That curd is absolutely beautiful."

Mary Berry commented: "The pastry is too thick and not quite done in the middle."

Things soon went downhill for the technical challenge, a French herb fougasse.

Unimpressed, Berry called Andrew's efforts: "A bit soft and crispy on the outside."

Hollywood added: "Could have done with another five minutes in the oven. Your flavour's there, the bake isn't."

His confidence shaken, Andrew said: "If tomorrow's worse I could be going home."

For the final showstopper Andrew had a chance to stay in the game with a three-tiered floral cake.

"I'm worried judges might think it doesn't have enough of a wow factor so I'm going to try and make it look as beautiful and finessed as possible," he said.

However, his fruity spring elderflower trio cake proved disastrous.

Explaining to Berry that he was going for a subtle flavour, she replied: "The flavour is so subtle I can't find it."

Hollywood added: "It's overbaked, it's dry as a bone. That's not good, that's a shame."

Andrew reflected: "I didn't think the cakes would be that bad. It was pretty damning in all angles."

Choking up with tears he said: "I really do want to stay."

In the end Andrew just finished ahead of rival Rav Basal. "I can't believe it, I'm a lucky duck," said Andrew. "I've got to really show what I'm made of next week and put awful botanicals behind us."

Meanwhile, with the Bake Off moving from the BBC to Channel 4, the 2015 winner Nadia Hussain has said she has not yet received any offers to rejoin.

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