Dan has said he “ran out of steam” as he became the sixth contestant to leave The Great British Bake Off.
The full-time parent from London, 36, had received three of judge Paul Hollywood’s sought-after handshakes throughout the competition and was previously named Star Baker in dessert week.
But he failed to impress Hollywood and judge Prue Leith after three pastry week challenges.
Contestants were tasked with creating sweet and savoury samosas for the signature challenge, French pastry Puits d’amour for the technical challenge, and a shaped banquet pie from the Tudor period for the showstopper.
Solid samosas, blackened Puits d’amour and an undercooked salmon coulibiac showstopper sealed Dan’s fate.
He said: “I never ever want to make my pastry salmon coulibiac again, and I can’t really see myself making a biscuit chandelier again.
“I made stupid mistakes in the (technical challenge) and knew from then it was all going a bit wrong and the end of the road for me.
“To be honest, I had run out of steam, Bake Off is a marathon of endurance. I think it might have been a more sensible decision to have paced myself and not sprinted at the start.”
He added: “Funnily enough, getting Star Baker was more relief than happiness. So I think my best bit was on bread week. I really wanted to impress Paul, so when I got a handshake and he said that the bake was annoyingly perfect – well that worked for me.
“The worst moment was halfway through the technical in Pastry Week. I felt I had messed up and I knew I couldn’t recover from it. By week six the level of talent in the tent is incredibly high, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t do any better.
“Although I hope I am known as a good baker, I never thought I would actually win it, but at the same time it was devastating when it all came crashing down.”
Briony, who has endured a few wobbles throughout the competition, was named Star Baker.
Both Rahul and Ruby bagged themselves Hollywood handshakes for their samosas, with the judge describing the latter’s efforts as “juggernauts of flavour”.
Briony’s venison pie, which was styled on the Mad Hatter’s top hat, impressed the judges, as did two-time Star Baker Rahul’s butterfly pie, which was filled with a “secret family recipe” of curry spices.
Six bakers remain in the tent, following Terry and Karen’s double exit last week.
The Great British Bake Off continues at 8pm next Tuesday on Channel 4.