PASTRY week proved a bridge too far for one Sussex cook as she became the latest to leave the Great British Bake Off tent.

Linda Rayfield from Bexhill was eliminated in week five despite having recently impressed judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with her intricate baking skills in the Channel 4 television show. The 61-year-old became a dark horse in the competition when she claimed the top spot in two technical challenges on the trot.

But she could not make it a third, falling to the bottom of the leaderboard after struggling with a vague eclair recipe designed to test the contestant’s baking know-how.

The Argus:

The tricky challenge tripped up several people in the tent, with many struggling to make their pastry rise.

Linda found herself short on time as she repeated the process three times in an attempt to create the perfect bake.

As a result, she was unable to top her eclairs and provided dipping sauces instead - a move which disappointed Paul and Prue.

“Those weren’t finished,” Prue said as Paul haughtily dunked a finger of pastry in the raspberry sauce provided. There’s no rise in that,” he said.

The Argus:

“It’s obviously got no flour in it, I can’t understand that. That’s terrible.”

She finished in last place as a result.

Her signature bake fared better, a spicy take on the classic Cornish pasty.

She opted for a samosa-style design containing spiced chicken, coriander and potato in a recipe inspired by her past trips to Goa in India.

Paul and Prue praised the design and gushed over Linda’s “fantastic” flavours.

The Argus:

But, they were quick to call her out on the lack of crimping, which had been a pre-requisite of the pasty challenge.

Linda’s final bake, a showstopper which had to feature a pastry cage surrounding a central feature, promised a lot.

The gypsy tart contained coffee and brandy sponge, topped with chocolate filigree, contained in a colourful rose water-flavoured pastry dome.

But disaster struck as the dome broke before she could present the bake to Paul and Prue. The pair, again, praised her flavours, but said the tart could have been thinner.

Paul said: “It’s quite frustrating that you don’t see the full impact (because of the absence of the dome). The way it looks doesn’t look good.”

As a result, she was eliminated from the show.

The Argus:

Now only one Sussex baker remains in the competition - 31-year-old Lottie Bedlow from Littlehampton.

The baker, who came close to elimination in week four, had a much-improved performance this time around with a stunning showstopper.

This secured her safety, making her one of the eight remaining bakers left to fight for the Great British Bake Off crown.