The Great British Bake Off Survival Guide – Semi-Final


The end of Bake Off is fast approaching and the judges have turned up the heat for the semi finals, letting the contestants sweat under the pressure of creating complex confections and fiddly fancies.

This week saw the creative contenders attempting to perfect their patisserie, with a baffling technical challenge in the form of Schichttorte – a multi layered German cake featuring 20 perfectly formed layers – enough to reduce the bakers to tiers.

The contestants also showcased their skill in the showstopper, crafting delicate mini mouthfuls, artfully arranged demonstrate their abilities. We loved Richard’s polka dot grapefruit confection and Luis’ elegant entremets.

It was the Baklava that caught our eye this week. The Greek syrupy delicacy features chopped nuts sandwiched between layers of filo pastry. We asked out Nutritional Therapists to give us a recipe that missed out dairy and they didn’t disappoint.

Butter Free Baklava

  • 340g runny honey
  •  170g melted coconut oil
  •  170g cold water
  •  120g chopped walnuts
  •  120g chopped pistachios
  •  110g brown sugar
  •  12 sheets of Jus Rol filo pastry – as Chetna says, ‘no one makes filo themselves!
  •  45g chopped almonds
  •  1 tsp Lemon essence
  •  ½ tsp cinnamon

Make the baklava:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a baking tin
  •  Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl
  •  In a separate bowl, add the chopped walnuts. Mix in 1/3 of the sugar mix
  • Repeat this process in separate bowls for the pistachios and almonds
  • Cover the pastry sheets with cling film and then a damp towel to keep them moist
  • Remove 1 sheet and place on a clean work surface
  • Brush half the surface with coconut oil and fold in half. Place in the tray and brush the top with oil
  • Repeat the last step two more times
  • Scatter the chopped walnuts onto the pastry in the pan.
  • Continue to layer with 3 more sheets of pastry, the pistachios, three more layers of pastry, the almonds and a final three sheets of pastry.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the top layer of pastry into squares, place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.

Why not try a combination of different nuts with dried fruit and currants or sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds over the top for a different twist on the classic treat?

For the syrup:

  • In a small saucepan, mix the honey, lemon essence and water, bringing to the boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 10 mins.
  • Pour the syrup over the pastry, cover and place in the fridge for an hour.
  • Impress everyone you know with your brilliant Baklava!

If you love baking, but it doesn’t seem to love you back, you might be experiencing food intolerance. To find out more try our FirstStep test and discover which foods could be causing you dietary dramas.