Franny’s #GBBO Bakeathon Challenge – Week 4 (Plum & Marzipan Tarte Tartin)

Who knew desserts could cause so much trouble?logo

As if she had predicted her fateful involvement in #bingate, Diana muttered ‘You never know with those puds’ over her self-saucing pudding cups.  Who would have thought that this cheery WI baker would become the subject of such wrath and fury?

Wow. Talk about drama. I mean, the stolen custard of yesteryear had nothing on this.

Things seemed to bumbling along gently with some wonderfully gooey puddings oozing their sweet innards delightfully for Paul and Mary in the first challenge. And despite the difficulties experienced by many during the technical challenge, Mary’s tiramisu cake, morale remained high amongst the merry tent folk.

But then came the ghastly Baked Alaska challenge. Facing 25 degree heat, the bakers looked upon their ingredients with exasperation as the task of making ice-cream from scratch and freezing it in time lay before them. There were many brilliant ideas – I have to say, Kate completely won it for me this week. A GLITTERY dessert? Hell yes.

If you haven’t heard about Wednesday night’s drama, you’ve clearly been hibernating somewhere. Soon, Diana’s face was plastered over social media and newspapers alike, the ultimate #GBBO scapegoat, blamed for sabotaging poor Iain’s ice-cream. It’s been said that it was left for a mere 40 seconds, which for ice-cream is still a decent amount of time to encourage the melting process, but I’m not sure it’s long enough to make it into the creamy mess that remained.

However, I must admit that it wouldn’t have taken much to have mentioned that the ice-cream was coming out of the freezer. You’ve all said you’re friends, guys! That’s what friends do. But who knows what went on in that tent? Whether we’ve been brainwashed by the editors or not, everyone has formed their own opinion and soon it will blow over. It’s a show about baking. Come on.IMG_4833

But anyway. Speculation is not why I’m here. I’ve returned with my latest bake – not completely in fitting with GBBO this week but it is a dessert so we’ll roll with it! This is such an easy recipe however, I used small plums which made for soggy plums very quickly – not good for pastry baking. If you are planning to make this tarte tartin, and I hope you do, take my advice and head for those chunkier plums . These littl’uns are tasty (and handpicked from Trish’s allotment!) but if you want that perfect flaky base and tender, not mushy, plums – the big ones will serve you right.

I am missing this Wednesday’s GBBO (SHOCK! HORROR!) but I will catch up on the evening and will be sure to bake you all up a tasty pie. Maybe I’ll even do something savoury…

For now, enjoy this tasty, easy dessert (you could whip it up right now…) and have a good evening!

– Franny


  • 75g light or dark muscovado sugar
  • 10 large ripe plums halved and stoned (as in stones removed, not drugged)
  • 100g golden marzipan
  • 320g ready roll puff pastry (or, if you have lots of time, why not make it!
  • You’ll need a 20cm round cake tin (preferably with a fixed base)


  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Sprinkle sugar to cover base of the cake tin evenlyIMG_4824
  • Arrange the plums on top of the sugar, cut-side down (I had several small ones so I overlapped)IMG_4825
  • Roll out marzipan thinly to a circle slightly smaller than the the tin and place on top of the plums
  • Roll out pastry a little bigger than the marzipan circle and lay it over the plums/marzipan and tuck the edges of the pastry down around the fruitIMG_4828
  • Make a small cross in the top of the pastry to let the steam out
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes – the pastry should be a lovely golden colour and crispy, your plums should be tender – not mushy like mine!IMG_4829
  • Loosen the edges of the tart, then turn out onto a plate
  • I prefer it warm with a good scoop of ice-cream but also great cold!IMG_4835

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