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Great British Bake Off 2016: Tudor Week inspiration and tips

Great British Bake Off 2016: Tudor Week inspiration and tips

by Great British Chefs 13 October 2016

As the latest episode of Bake Off takes us back to the sixteenth century for the first time ever, cook some of your own recipes from the golden age of marzipan, raised pies and jumbles.

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The latest series of Bake Off has certainly had its fair share of new themes. Batter Week was followed by Botanical Week, and now it’s time for a sugar-laden history lesson with Tudor Week to see the remaining five bakers through the quarter-finals. With just a few episodes left to go until we say goodbye forever to a Mel and Sue-fronted competition, we’re hoping for some real humdingers to see us through to the final few rounds.

For the signature challenge, the bakers are tasked with making a Tudor pie. Historically, these would be filled with all sorts of small birds, but the contestants will be going for something a little more palatable. Galton Blackiston offers up the perfect recipe with his Raised game pie, combining partridge, rabbit, pheasant and venison in a hot water crust pastry that wouldn’t look out of place on Henry VIII’s dining table. Whatever the bakers decide to create in the tent, they’ll need to make sure their pastry has enough lard in to stay flaky, but not so much that they let the liquid filling leak out and go soggy.

The technical challenge is another of Paul’s strange and unheard of dishes: jumbles. Essentially knotted dough flavoured with caraway seeds and then baked, they’re a relatively simple thing to make, although they must be soft in the middle with a nice crunch on the outside. If biscuits of all shapes and sizes, Tudor or not, are something you prefer to scoff from a packet rather than bake at home yourself, check out our guide to creating them. You can even replace the caraway seeds with something a bit more exotic, as the spice trade has come along quite a bit since the sixteenth century.

The quarter-final showstopper involves a true love it or hate it ingredient – marzipan. The Tudors couldn’t get enough of the stuff, but now its either the first or last to go in a box of chocolates and rarely seen outside the festive period. However, making your own really helps to bring out its lovely almond flavour, and paves the way to British favourites like Battenberg, Simnel cake and Christmas cake. We’re sure the Bake Off bakers will be looking to impress with giant creations that represent the wealth, riches and opulence that Tudor royalty loved to show off.

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