The Great British Bake Off, episode nine – live

We’re down to the final four tonight – will Nadiya, Tamal, Flora or Ian be going home after getting to grips with chocolate? 4.10pm BST Evening all, and welcome to this week’s Bake Off liveblog! I was off on my holidays last week, so many thanks to Julia for holding the choux pastry fort. Tonight’s semi-final is all about chocolate creations – only four bakers remain and it’s anyone’s game at this point, so all quite exciting.I’ll be up here keeping any eye on every failed fondant and gooey ganache – your wit and wisdom would, as always, be very welcome in the comment box below. Continue...

New York coffee festival: baristas show off best latte art and espresso cocktails

Coffee-making experts compete to be ‘coffee masters’, demonstrating their skill and speed as they seek a $5,000 prize – all while battling the effects of excessive caffeineJust inside the imposing doors of the 69th regiment armory in Manhattan’s Rose Hill, vitrines filled with the goods of war line the wall: Japanese swords, tattered flags, an “insurgent mask” obtained in Iraq in 2004. But on a recent Sunday, another battle was raging at the Armory. This was the final day of the first New York coffee festival, a convocation for the caffeine-obsessed. Continue...

How to make the perfect custard tart

Not to be confused with the Portuguese or French versions, this silky dessert in a crisp crust is a British classic. But should the pastry be enriched with sugar – and should your custard be made with cream or milk?Despite a rich history stretching back to Charlie Chaplin himself, the classic comedic custard pie is no laughing matter. Those thrown by Laurel, Hardy et al were, according to slapstick pioneer Mack Sennett, “full of a sort of paste and sticky stuff so that when they hit they didn’t splatter too much, but dripped nice and gooey”, while the favoured weapon of the Tiswas Phantom Flan Flinger seems to have, in fact, been coloured shaving foam (sorry, children of the 70s).Instead, we’ll be looking at the custard tart, which has a far longer – and dare I say nobler – pedigree, dating back at least to the 14th century, when a doucet (possibly containing minced pork or bone marrow, but a sweet custard pie nonetheless), put in an appearance at the coronation banquet of Henry IV. Continue...

How to make the perfect custard tart

Not to be confused with the Portuguese or French versions, this silky dessert in a crisp crust is a British classic. But should the pastry be enriched with sugar – and should your custard be made with cream or milk?Despite a rich history stretching back to Charlie Chaplin himself, the classic comedic custard pie is no laughing matter. Those thrown by Laurel, Hardy et al were, according to slapstick pioneer Mack Sennett, “full of a sort of paste and sticky stuff so that when they hit they didn’t splatter too much, but dripped nice and gooey”, while the favoured weapon of the Tiswas Phantom Flan Flinger seems to have, in fact, been coloured shaving foam (sorry, children of the 70s).Instead, we’ll be looking at the custard tart, which has a far longer – and dare I say nobler – pedigree, dating back at least to the 14th century, when a doucet (possibly containing minced pork or bone marrow, but a sweet custard pie nonetheless), put in an appearance at the coronation banquet of Henry IV. Continue...

Recipe swap: braised

Share your best braised recipes with us for a chance to be printed in CookFor your chance to be crowned Guardian home cook of the year, share your braised recipes and tell us a bit about them by noon on Wednesday 7 October. Eve O’Sullivan will choose her favourites to print in the Cook section of the Guardian. Winning recipes will appear on 17 October.You can share your braised recipes and photos by clicking on the ‘Contribute’ button on this article. You can also use the Guardian app and search for ‘GuardianWitness assignments’. Continue...