THE Great British Bake Off’s Julia became the sixth contestant to be booted off the show after a tricky pastry week.
The 21-year-old from Russia, who lives in West Sussex with her husband, failed to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood with her three creations for pastry week.
The signature challenge, which saw the seven remaining bakers tasked with creating four savoury shortcrust pies, was Julia’s first downfall after she decided to include baking powder in her pastry – dubbed a “mistake” by Leith.
She came in last place in the technical challenge with her pasteis de nata – Portuguese custard tarts – resembling shortcrust pastry rather than the desired flaky pastry.
In the showstopper round, Julia’s hand-raised pie with a hot water crust pastry base again received criticism from both Hollywood and Leith.
They said her effort could have been neater, that the pastry was undercooked and that her shredded chicken filling was dry.
As she was announced the latest casualty of the Bake Off, Prue and presenter Sandi Toksvig became emotional and hugged Julia.
Toksvig told her: “I am so sorry, sorry sweetheart. You did amazing. You know that, right? You did incredible.”
In her exit interview, Julia said: “I knew that I wouldn’t win or get to the final, but I enjoyed every week, and to get to over half way through the series is something I am really grateful for.
“I enjoyed every minute of it, and I would love to do it again now I have the knowledge of how it all works!”
Julia said that being named Star Baker during bread week was her highlight in the tent, and that she enjoyed getting to know Toksvig and her co-presenter Noel Fielding.
Julia said her family back at home in Russia have not yet been able to watch her progress on the Channel 4 show as they do not speak English, but that “hopefully I will be able to take some DVDs of the show so they can see it”.
She added: “My husband Matt’s family have of course been able to watch it, and his nan cries each week, and was in pieces the night I left. They have been so incredibly supportive, and that means so much to me.
“My husband Matt has been my rock, he is the one who has always believed in me. I would have gone crazy without him!”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Liam was named Star Baker for his efforts in pastry week, his first time with the accolade.
Leith praised Liam, this year’s youngest baker, as being a “genius”, particularly with his flavours.
The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.
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