Bake Off Bake Along Week 5 roundup & Week 6 - Pastry

Hello fellow GBBO fans! Welcome to this week's roundup post for the 'free-from' week aka, the most daunting week so far and my own bake for week 6 which just so happens to be pastry week, finally something I know I can get on with!

JUST before we get down to presenting this week's favourites, Amanda and I are excited to finally announce some of the prizes available to the winner of the Bake Off Bake Along. First we have an incredible Mason Cash package from House of Fraser worth over £60. There's some beautiful kitchen scales, a Mason Cash cake pop set,v a Mason Cash gingerbread man set, and a Mason Cash flour shaker. How amazing is that? Just LOOK at that flour shaker, and um, all of it? 

We've also got a runner's up prize from Dr Oetker, a hamper of their products including: a Gold Shimmer Spray, Giant Chocolate Stars, Sugar Strands, Premium Extra Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel Surprise Inside Cupcake Centres and a Madagascan Vanilla Grinder. So a nice few products to stock up your baking cupboard with.

Congratulations to KatAngela, and Ashlyn for their amazing bakes this week, Kat tackled the sugar-free cake and produced a wonderful looking, completely sugar free brownie, Angela amazingly tackled those gluten-free pittas and wow wow wow to Ashlyn for her amazing mermaid dairy-free arctic role. Fantastic work ladies!

As per usual, the link up for this week is at the bottom of this post - I'm looking forward to seeing lots of delicious pastry bakes!

And now onto my own bake for pastry week. Having had a few, let's be honest, less than half decent bakes, I knew I had to up my game for pastry week as it's something I do feel quite comfortable with. I've previously made puff, rough puff and shortcrust a number of times so I felt confident, to a certain extent. I decided to go with my first show stopper bake along which I'm actually, if I say so myself, quite pleased with.

The challenge was to make 48 Vol Au Vents, the ultimate '70s dinner party element. I ended up making 24 overall, 12 of each flavour, and I decided to go with a prawn cocktail on one, which is just excellent as a chilled vol au vent and the second, a much more me flavour, melted mozzarella with a grilled cherry plum tomato, chorizo garnished with some basil - so very much like a pizza.

One thing that I had forgotten about making puff is that when you're on your last round and cutting out the shapes, you have to be quick to keep it cold otherwise it all just becomes one big mess.

Aside from that, I'm really pleased with the actual puff pastry, it was beautifully flaky, even if some of the vol au vents came out extremely lop-sided, some of them were definitely presentable. I'd be interested to find out why some rose to the side and why others were much more well behaved.

Having done this now, and knowing how much fun and how pleasing on the eye they are, I'd totally feel comfortable doing something similar when having poeple round, although I'd definitely be tempted to make them a little smaller... but then again, when has anyone ever looked attractive eating canapes? They haven't. There's no amount of hand cupping that can counter act crumbs... everywhere.

So what do you think? Have I managed to pull it back this week?

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