Belfast Telegraph

Bake Off's Andrew Smyth engineers perfect pastry

By Cate McCurry

Northern Ireland engineer Andrew Smyth has baked his way through to the sixth round of the Great British Bake Off.

Despite suffering a few bumps along the way, the 25-year-old secured his spot and escaped being thrown off the BBC show.

It was Val Stones (66) who fell at the last hurdle when she failed to complete the showstopper challenge, leaving 12 amuse-bouches still in the oven as she ran out of time.

This week's pastry round required the eight remaining contestants to bake a Danish classic in the first round.

Andrew, who described himself as a "friendly person", admitted he wanted to win star baker before he leaves the show after coming close to winning the accolade a number of times.

The bakers were given three-and-a-half hours to bake 24 breakfast Danish pastries for their signature dish.

Andrew opted for his mum and dad's breakfast pastries which were filled with dates.

Smyth revealed the inspiration behind the ingredient came from his father - outgoing CBI Northern Ireland director Nigel Smyth. He said his dad loved dates - and even used to stash them in his car's glove box.

As ever, the Co Down Rolls-Royce employee engineered his pastry to perfection with Mary Berry praising the pastry's "beautiful colour". She added: "They look delicious and inviting."

Presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins prepared the contestants for the ultimate tea-time classic for the technical challenge.

Things appeared to be going well for Smyth's Bakewell Tart until he realised 15 minutes into cooking time that he forgot to switch on the oven.

"It's not cooking. Oh my God, the oven was not on. That's unfortunate," he said.

"What a state. Oh, it's awful."

The mistake cost the Bangor man as he failed to finish the icing on the cake. However, Berry said the taste of the tart wasn't "too bad".

Judge Paul Hollywood also commented: "It tastes very good, but it's not finished."

After finishing sixth in the technical challenge, Andrew moved on to the showstopper challenge where he attempted to make 48 filo pastries.

He impressed the judges with his spicy chorizo parcels filled with spicy squash and Baklava bites packed with Pistachios.

"You have got the right flavour," Berry said while Hollywood praised the "beautiful taste".

Candice Brown was named star baker in Wednesday night's episode after creating a "delicious" Danish breakfast pastry.

Belfast Telegraph

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