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Great British Bake Off: Armagh man Mark Lutton still in the mix after tough pastry week


Rising star: Bake Off competitor Mark Lutton had his ups and downs this week

Rising star: Bake Off competitor Mark Lutton had his ups and downs this week

Rising star: Bake Off competitor Mark Lutton had his ups and downs this week

Portadown man Mark Lutton almost crumbled under the pressure in last night's nail-biting episode of The Great British Bake Off.

Elegant eclairs and Cornwall's famous pasties were on the menu as the show reached pastry week.

After being crowned star baker the previous week with his chocolate creations, Mark admitted the nerves "hadn't gone away" as he attempted to curry favour with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith once more.

"I do like making pastry but I have to say that this is definitely one of the weeks where a lot could go wrong," he said.

"Nobody wants a soggy bottom, but a crisp bottom."

"You have to prove yourself every time," Leith advised him at the start of week five in the tent of dreams.

The signature challenge saw the bakers creating eight identical Cornish pasties.

Mark, a 32-year-old project manager now based in Liverpool, was determined to pack a punch with his highly spiced aloo gobi and paneer cheese curry pasties with roasted cauliflower in a shortcrust pastry, which he admitted had "a lot going on". Hollywood deemed them "gorgeous" and "spot on", while Leith added: "That's really what a pasty should look like."

His "slapdash" performance in the 'technical' to create six eclairs - three flavoured with raspberry and three with salted caramel - was described as "more or less okay", and ended up being ranked third.

"You were redeemed by the fact that the pastry was well cooked. They tasted delicious but were really messy," Leith added.

For this week's showstopper, the bakers had to produce a sweet tart within a highly decorative pastry cage.

Mark's ambitious offering was named 'Mes-SAGE in a bottle' and featured a pear and sage filling on a ginger pate sucree base.

"It's a tough one as a lot could go wrong," he said.

"I'm confident that it's gong to work - I have to be positive about this," he added ahead of a last-minute race against time that ended in a heartbreaking cage collapse.

Despite failing to impress the judges in the end and fearing that he was "in a very precarious position", Mark survived through to Japanese Week, and vowed "to be better".

Belfast Telegraph