Friday 23 September 2016

Bakewell Tart (GBBO Technical Challenge)

I skipped last weeks technical challenge, because lacy pancakes? This weeks one was on far firmer ground, a bakewell tart. I used to almost live on this stuff (quite literally...sometimes it was all I insisted on eating), though I'd never done an iced (ala Mr Kipling) one before.

I decided to up the ante a bit, and do this as a timed challenge, giving myself 2½ hours, and no recipe (all I'd done was decide on the size of tin, and done a shopping list so I had all the ingredients). Sweetcrust pastry, frangipane and jam is stuff I've done several times before, so I was pretty confident...what I hadn't accounted for was the amount of time it took to cool the tart so that I could ice it! Even with it sitting on ice pack in the fridge, it took a good 20-25 minutes to get down to a temperature I was happy to put the water icing on. I eventually took 2h13 minutes, though it was out of the oven with almost an hour to spare!

I'll do the recipe in the same order I worked through, and approximate timings as well.

Bakewell Tart - Recipe

Sweetcrust Pastry Ingredients

  • 225g plain flour
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 150g chilled butter, cut into cubes
  • Pinch of salt
  • Egg (from the fridge)
  • Chilled water
1) Put the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a food processor with the blade attachment

2) Whizz until a breadcrumb texture is formed

3) Beat and add the egg, while whizzing

4) Slowly add water until the dough forms (you will not need more than 1-2tbsp)

5) Turn the dough out onto a clean surface, and knead a couple of times until it comes together to a smooth, soft dough.

6) Roll the dough out to ~3mm thick (I use batons), in a circle large enough to line a 23cm tart tin

7) Line the tart tin, leaving some pastry overhanging, and carefully tucking the pastry into the corners

8) Prick the base of the pastry with a fork all over

9) Place in the fridge to chill

10) Turn the oven on, to 190'C

Time taken - 10-15 minutes

Jam Ingredients

  • 200g raspberries
  • 200g jam sugar
1) Put the raspberries in a saucepan, and use a potato masher to purée them

2) Add the sugar to the pan

3) Begin to heat gently, while stirring, until the sugar has dissolved

4) Turn up the heat, and continue to stir

5) Heat/Boil until the mixture reaches a temperature of 104'C (I use a temperature probe). Keep stirring should take about 3-4 minutes after it starts to boil

6) Pour the jam out onto a clean baking tray (with a lip) to cool

Time Taken - 10 minutes

1) Take the tart tin out of the fridge

2) Line it with clingfilm, and fill with dried rice/baking beans

3) Place in the oven for 15 minutes. While it's baking, make the frangipane

Frangipane ingredients

  • 150g softened butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g ground almond
  • ½tsp almond essence
  • 1 Egg
1) Put the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

2) Mix until light and creamy (might need to scrape the sides down a couple of times)

3) Add the egg and almond essence, and mix thoroughly

4) Add the ground almond, and mix in

Time taken - 15 minutes

1) Remove the tart tin from the oven, and take out the cling-film and baking beans

2) Return to the oven for 7 minutes, until the base of the pastry is just starting to turn golden

Time Taken - 7 minutes


1) Take the tart tin out of the oven

2) Using a sharp knife, trim the overhanging pastry off, so the edge is flush with the tin.

3) Turn the oven down to 160'C (crack the door a bit to help it cool down)

4) Spread ~4tbsp of the cooled jam over the base of the pastry

5) Take the frangipane, and spread it over the jam

6) Use a small palette knife to smooth the top of the frangipane

7) Place in the oven for 30 minutes, until the frangipane has baked to a light brown

Time taken - 35 minutes

1) Once the frangipane is cooked, remove to a wire rack. Do everything you can to cool it down fast. As soon as you can, get it out of the tin. Put it on a cold plate in the fridge, put the plate on ice packs. Even waft it with a baking tray etc. Before you ice it, it has to be (at most) slightly warm to the touch. Once it's getting close, make the icing

Time taken - 25-30 minutes

Icing Ingredients

  • 300g icing sugar
  • ½tsp almond essence
  • Pink food colouring
  • Water
1) Put 275g of the icing sugar in a large bowl with the almond essence

2) Slowly add water while stirring, until a thick, viscous icing is formed.It will change consistency very quickly, so be sparing with the water

3) Put 25g of the sugar in a ramekin with the pink food colouring

4) carefully add water until the same consistency is formed

5) Put the pink icing in a small piping bag

6) Once the tart is cool to the touch, pour the white icing on top, and spread to the edges using a small palette knife

7) Pipe parallel lines of the pink icing over the top of these

8) Using a cocktail stick, feather the pink lines by cutting through them at 90'

Time Taken - 5 minutes