It’s the quarter-final and our canvas congregation has dwindled, leaving us with a faithful five.
We begin this week with a signature challenge that has a touch of the pagan. It’s horns – cream horns. Twenty-four pastry horns in two different flavours.
The bakers are free to choose rough puff or full puff. Mr Hollywood shows he is the baking successor to Rodgers and Hammerstein as we’re treated to the mantra of his lyrical lamination, "Dough, butter, dough, butter, dough".
Now, I think all this pastry winding can be devilishly difficult but Ian assures us that not much can go wrong. You just know he’s going to eat his words. He’s taken inspiration from classic desserts of Mont Blanc and Black Forest gateaux, striping alternate strands of chocolate pastry. Sadly he can’t keep it all together and is left with a collection of holey relics. Mary’s head spins at the strength of his kirsch and she all but calls for an exorcist.
Paul J has chosen a coffee tipple with banana and custard. Paul H looks positively ecstatic at such nostalgic prospects but, when he can’t find his beloved banana, he’s soon possessed by the spirit of a petulant child.
Flora is also treading a retro path, styling her horns like ice cream cones. Not content with her choice of peach, lemon and thyme and smoked almond and butterscotch, she spends time making flake-like decorations of tuile biscuits. No amount of last minute freezing can prevent her cones from dripping like a lolly in the heat of Lourdes and her penitent face takes cold comfort in the warmth of her hands.