Friday, 29 December 2017

Disney Pixar Coco Sticker Book & Essential Guide. 

School holidays are here, and we always enjoy taking our kids along to see at least one movie at the cinemas. There are lots of great animated films out at the moment, including Coco. Have you seen it yet?

Coco is one of the latest Disney Pixar releases, and DK have released these two great books based on the movie.
The first is the Ultimate Sticker Book, which includes over 100 stickers, and includes captions that the reader can match the sticker to. 
This is an 8 page book, so I'd recommend it as a handy book to give your child when travelling to keep them entertained for a short period of time.
The book is available now, and has an RRP of $9.99

The Essntial Guide is a hard-cover book with many colourful animated scenes and explains all of the characters from Coco including the Rivera family, Miguel, Abuelita, and Mama Coco. 
A quiz is also included, as well as interesting facts and true or false statements. 
This is a must have book for any Coco fan!
The book is available now through DK Books, and has an RRP of $16.99 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Children's Chapter Book Review: Laugh Your Head Off Again And Again, featuring 9 Aussie authors!

This hard-backed chapter book features 9 Australian authors:
Andy Griffiths
John Marsden
R.A Spratt
Alex Ratt (pseudonym for Frances Watts)
Tristan Bancks, 
Deb Abela, 
Tony Wilson, 
Alan Brough and Meredith Costain. 

Each author tells a funny short story that will have your child laughing out loud! 
From a famous dancing dog, to a Halloween chicken, to a running race like none you have ever read about, these quirky tales are sure to delight!
The book is suitable for both girls and boys in middle to upper years of primary school. 

My 10-year-old daughter liked that the book can be read in any order.

Laugh Your Head Off Again And Again is available now through Pan Macmillan Australia, and has an RRP of $19.99
For further information on this title, head here

Monday, 11 December 2017

Giveaway: Win A Copy Of Stinky Street Stories and Stinky Street Stories 2!!

This will be my final giveaway for the year, and it is a great one!!
With thanks to the very generous people over at Pan Macmillan Australia, I have THREE sets of books to give away to three separate winners!
Each set includes a copy of Stinky Street Stories and Stinky Street Stories 2 (RRP $14.99 each)


These books are very funny, and are ideal for both boys and girls aged between 7-10 years old. 
Join Brian (or has he prefers to be known as - Brain!), and his best mate Nerf as they encounter many stinky, pongy, hilarious encounters!
These books would be perfect to give to your junior reader this Christmas!
So, how can you win?

To enter, you must be a follower of my blog (either by liking my Facebook page/twitter/Instagram, or following via email or bloglovin' - I don't mind which one you opt for but you must do at least one please), and simply leave a comment here (or on the Facebook or Instagram competition posts) telling me who you would like to win this set of books for and why. 

Three separate winners will be selected - the most creative/original answers will win, so get entering, and please include your email with your answer so I can contact you if you're one of the lucky winners!

All steps MUST be completed in order for your entry to be valid. 

1. This giveaway is open to residents of Australia only. 
2. Giveaway closes on 16th December 16th 2017, 9 pm. Winner/s will be contacted via email within 24 hours. Failure to receive a response from the winner/s will mean the prize is forfeited and a new winner/s  will be chosen.
3. Winner will be selected on a basis of skill, not chance - the most creative and/or interesting answer deemed by the judge/s wins. 
4. The prize is not redeemable for cash.
5. In  The Good Books blog will not be responsible for items that go missing through Australia Post postal services.
6. This promotion is not associated or endorsed by Facebook.
7. Those who 'unlike' or 'unfollow' after the giveaway ends will be disqualified from entering future giveaways.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Book Review: Explanatorium Of Nature by DK Books 

If you know of someone, or perhaps even you yourself, that is inquisitive about how animals do the things they do, and how nature works, then this is the book to check out!
The topics covered in this book include:
- Microorganisms & Fungi
- Plants
- Inverterbrates
- Fish
- Amphibians
- Reptiles
- Birds
- Mammals
- Habitats

It is packed full of facts and information, with detailed diagrams and stunning photographs on every page. 
It is a fantastic book that explains everything from how animal eggs develop and hatch, to how snakes eat, how ducks swim, and how chameleons change colour. 
With over 350 pages of information, this book is bound to provide many hours of entertainment and knowledge as you discover the who's, what's and why's of nature. 

Explanatorium Of Nature is out now through DK Books, and has an RRP of $45.
For further information on this title, head here 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Best Ever Baking Book by Jane Bull

My daughters love to help out when I am baking in the kitchen, so they were pretty happy when I received this recipe book!

The recipes are set out in a easy-to-follow step-by-step format. There is a section that lists what equipment will be needed, including pictures. The ingredient list also has pictures included, making it easy for young bakers to recognise the ingredients (especially helpful for those too young to read the ingredient list).

The recipes include variations, with tips on storage and other cooking handy hints.
Some of the recipes include: muffins, cakes and bread.
The Best Ever Baking Book is ideal for young bakers aged 5 - 10 years old.

It is available now through DK Books.
For further info, head here 

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Children's Picture Book Review: The Lion In Our Living Room by Emma Middleton, Illustrated by Briony Stewart 

The Lion In Our Living Room is a recently released children's book that focuses on the special playful moments that children share with their fathers.
Tilly and Tom are at home with their dad, and wonder whether the lion will pay them a visit today.
Will he or won't he show up? They await his arrival with anticipation!
When the lion finally arrives, Tilly and Tom have a wonderful time playing and taking turns to have a lion ride.

This is a great picture book for children with fun-loving fathers.
It is available through Affirm Press and has an RRP of $24.99
For further information on this title, head here

Monday, 20 November 2017

Book Review: The Incredible Fold-Out Book Of Animals by DK Books.

As the title suggests, this large hard-backed book has a fold-out format, offering the reader the opportunity to explore the lives of some amazing wild creatures in great detail.
Tigers, elephants, chameleons, toucans and orangutans are just some of the animals that are featured in this comprehensive guide.
Remarkable photographic images and fascinating facts grace the pages of this pages of this book.
I like that the pages are thick and durable, making it suitable for younger readers, as well as older age groups. 

The Incredible Fold-Out Book Of Animals is available now through DK Books and has an RRP of $24.99

Fo further information on this title, head here

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Children's Picture Book Review: The Very Noisy Baby by Alison Lester

Alison Lester is a hugely popular Australian children's author and illustrator, and her latest book, The Very Noisy Baby has a very sweet story behind it.
The book was inspired by Alison's granddaughter Trixie, now aged 3, who was a very noisy baby. 
Trixie's mum Clair is the editor, so this collaboration of three generations is a very special one.

In the story, a little baby makes some unusual and loud sounds. She can growl, roar, and bellow loudly! 
But when animals in the neighbourhood start to go missing, can the adorable baby help? 
The repetitive and rhyming text makes this book ideal for reading out loud to your little ones, and the illustrations are lovely. 

Released this November, The Very Noisy Baby is available through Affirm Press, and has an RRP of $24.99
For further information on this title, head here

Monday, 13 November 2017

Book Review: The Listies Icky-Foodia, The Ultimate Guide To Disgusting Food (For Middle Readers) 

Children's comedians, The Listies, (Richard Higgins and Matt Kelly) have already released Ickypedia (a dictionary of disgusting new words), and now they are back with Icky-Foodia, which is an alphabetical guide to disgusting foods!
What can I say except that this is one hilarious book that both children and adults will enjoy!
There are a LOT of puns and jokes thrown in as The Listies define foods, meals and recipes, which will have you laughing out loud!
From Devonshire Wee to Feeta Cheese to Enchihuahua's, The Listies have certainly thought up some really disgusting foods that will whet your appetite (or not!) :) 
What I like about this book is that it doesn't need to necessarily be read in order from first page to last. My 10 year-old daughter likes to flip through the book and read out sections which have us both in giggles. 

Icky-Foodia was released in October through Penguin Random House Australia, and has an RRP of $14.99
For further information on this title, head here

Friday, 10 November 2017

Children's Picture Book Review: Grace & Katie by Susanne Merritt & Liz Anelli

Grace & Katie is a delightful hard-backed picture book that is released this month through EK Books. 

Grace & Katie are twins, and they both love to draw, but that is where the similarities end.
Grace likes her drawings to be neat and organised, whereas Katie opts for bright and bold patterns and drawings. 
One day, the girls decide to draw a map of their house and their street, but they can't decide on the best way to do it, so they each decide to create their own versions.
However, they soon realise that perhaps they would have been better to collaborate together in order to allow each of their strengths to shine through. 

This is a great book that encourages children to express their individual creativity. 
It is recommended for readers 4-8 years old, and has an RRP of $19.99. 
For further information on this title, head here

Monday, 6 November 2017

Beauty & Lace Book Review: We That Are Left by Lisa Bigelow

Whilst We That Are Left by Lisa Bigelow is a debut fictional story about the effects of war. I was interested to discover that the story is inspired by real-life events involving Lisa's grandfather, who was one of the 645 crew members lost on the ship, HMAS Sydney, in 1941. 

The story begins in Melbourne in 1941, and spans across the years to 1947.
There are two main female characters - Mae Parker and Grace Fowler.
Mae has been happily married to Harry, a naval engineer, for 6 years. They are about to bring their first child into the world when Harry gets posted to the HMAS Sydney, a dream that he has been waiting for.
Shortly after the birth of their daughter Katie, Mae discovers that Harry's ship has gone missing. The news leaves her distraught and she struggles to believe that Harry may never return.

Grace is a feisty and determined young woman who works at a daily newspaper office and is keen on making her childhood dream of becoming a reporter a reality.
It is there that she meets fellow journalist Phil Taylor, and they begin dating. But when Phil is sent to work in Singapore to report on the Allied troops, he is captured, and Grace does not know if or when he will ever return.

Both of these women are very brave, and have to endure the effect that the war has on their lives.
Mae remains hopeful that she will be reunited with Harry. Her loving family of aunt and uncles offer their love and support and help her get back on her feet as she faces challenges with raising Katie whilst clinging to the hope that she will see Harry again.

This is a book that drew me in and I really enjoyed it.
Having the focus on the two women gave the reader a very good insight into how war effects not only the servicemen and women, but their loved ones, for generations to come. 

For further information on this title, head here 

To see my original review on Beauty & Lace, head here

With thanks to Beauty & Lace and Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and review We That Are Lost. 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Children's Chapter Book Review: Dr Boogaloo And The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter by Lisa Nicol

If you're after a chapter book for middle readers, then look no further than this fantastic read!
Dr Boogaloo isn't your standard GP. 
Instead of prescribing medication to his patients, he treats them with what he believes to be the most powerful form of medicine... MUSIC!
One day, a woman brings her young daughter, a girl named Blue, to Dr Boogaloo's clinic.
Blue has lost her ability to laugh. In fact, it has been over 700 days since she last laughed. 
Will Dr Boogaloo be able to cure her, or is Blue doomed to never laugh again?

I adored this book. Blue is an adorable girl who is kind and considerate to others. As we learn about her home life, we soon realise just how easy it is for Blue to have lost her laughter.
Dr Boogaloo and his wife, Bessie, are both wonderful characters and will stop at nothing to help Blue. It is a whimsical and enchanting tale that both young and older readers will enjoy.
And the book cover is so pretty too!

Dr Boogaloo And The Girl Who Lost Her Laughter is out this  month through Penguin Random House Australia, and has an RRP of $19.99

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Book Review: Feed Your Brain The Cookbook by Delia McCabe 

Delia McCabe has over 20 years of research into brain health and nutrition up her sleeve, and has previously released the highly successful book, Feed Your Brain: 7 Steps To A Lighter, Brighter You!
Now she is back with her latest book, which not only shares Delia's hints and tips about foods that are not only healthy for your body, but for your brain too.

The layout of the book is great. It is simple to follow, and there's a lot of information about adding extra nutrients to our diet, as well as information about the nutritional benefits of certain foods including nuts, legumes, vegetables and fruits. 
I also like that it isn't bulky or heavy like many cookbooks tend to be. 
The book contains over 100 recipes that are plant-based, vegan, and gluten free, including the following two recipes:

Sweet corn, pea and coriander (cilantro) salad 

'We had some fresh sweet corn, lovely ripe avocados, fresh peas and fresh coriander (cilantro), so we decided to toss it all together for this simple salad — the result was quite delicious. The bright yellow and green result also looks amazing. You could easily use fresh basil — it would work just as well — although in that case I would add small, ripe cherry tomatoes. The roasted red capsicum (bell pepper) salad dressing (see recipe on page 71) or the tomato salad cream dressing (see recipe on page 67) both work well here, enhancing the colour and flavour.'

1 cup sweet corn (frozen or fresh and chopped off the cob)
1 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
1 cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 avocado, diced
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), finely sliced
Lightly steam the corn and peas over boiling water for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and cool on a large plate.
Over a sieve, drain the liquid off the cucumber sticks.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining salad ingredients. Add the corn and peas and toss together, then toss in the drained cucumber sticks. Serve immediately with the salad dressing on the side.
Replace the coriander with finely sliced fresh basil leaves. 
Flower petals can add colour and interest to salads — just make completely sure they are pesticide free and edible, and don’t add too many, because some petals can be quite spicy. Use the flowers of chives, garlic and leeks, as well as borage, calendula/marigold, carnation and jasmine petals. Chamomile flowers, along with coriander (cilantro) and dill flowers, are pretty and tasty, while citrus blossoms are highly scented and can be overpowering.

Roasted red capsicum (bell pepper) salad dressing 


This is a beautifully bright and wonderfully flavoured dressing. If you’re short of time, simply use a raw red pepper. Salads with asparagus, tomatoes and butter lettuce go well with this dressing, as well as any salad containing quinoa (such as on page 102). 
1 medium roasted red capsicum (bell pepper),skin and seeds removed 
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, roasted
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme 

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
Refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days.
Roasting capsicum (bell pepper) enhances its natural sweetness. Simply put your fresh capsicum on a grill, turning regularly for 10–15 minutes until the skin is blackened. Transfer them to a large glass bowl and cover with a tea towel. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the black skin and seeds and you are left with lovely strips of smoky capsicum.

Tomato salad cream dressing 

'Children of all ages enjoy dipping their crunchy vegetables or oven-baked sweet potato chips into this salad cream — and it is much healthier than store-bought sauces. It is good with all fresh vegetable salads as well as grain salads but looks especially appealing on green salads, because the pink contrasts beautifully with green leaves.'

1 small (10-centimetre/4-inch) piece celery, roughly chopped
1 spring onion (shallot, scallion) , roughly chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, peeled
½ teaspoon herb salt
¾ cup coconut milk 
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve as a dipping sauce or with the gorgeous green garden salad on page 96.
Refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days.

Mango ice-cream

Mangoes are a summertime fruit, so it’s the perfect time to make mango ice-cream. This is a very simple recipe to make, because you simply combine all the ingredients, practise patience overnight, and wake up to delicious, golden mango ice-cream. You can use popsicle moulds to freeze in individual portions, but you don’t have to — it’s perfectly fine frozen in a glass container too.
2 cups mango flesh, fresh or frozen
½ cup cashew nuts, soaked in water for 2–3 hours, rinsed and drained well
¼ cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence (vanilla extract)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until they form a smooth and silky cream. Transfer the mixture to either popsicle moulds or a glass container that can hold 6 cups of liquid. Freeze overnight.
If you are using a glass container, remove about 10 minutes before you plan to serve the ice-cream, because it needs to thaw slightly. If you make popsicles, dip the bottom into some plain white chocolate^ and immediately dip into some buckwheat nibbles * or roughly chopped almonds.

As you can see, these recipes are healthy and delicious, and the best thing is that these recipes can be enjoyed by the whole family, including the kids.

For further information on this title, head here

From Feed Your Brain. The Cookbook, by Delia McCabe. Available from and wherever good books are sold. RRP $34.99 Images from Vanessa Russell. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Children's Book Review: The Amazing Monster Detectoscope by Graeme Base

I adore Graeme Base books, so was super-keen to get my hands on his latest one, The Amazing Monster Detectoscope.
This is a beautiful large, hardback book featuring a little hero puppy who has a house full of monsters, and sets about facing his fears by finding them with his Detectoscope. 
As he journeys through the rooms of the house and outdoors, the reader is able to open up the viewfinder to reveal the hilariously horrendous monsters lurking about!
When I read this with my two younger daughters for the first time, we were all so amazed at the attention to detail, and marvelled at the monsters that were hiding. Some of them gave us quite a shock (in a good way!) as we didn't know what to expect.
The element of anticipation makes this book a real winner.
I'm sure that any young reader would enjoy slowly turning the viewfinder to see what is hidden.

This is a book that will be read over and over again in our household.

The Amazing Monster Detectoscope is available this October, and has a RRP of $29.99
For further information on this title, head here

DON'T FORGET: There's still time to enter my latest giveaway to win a delightful children's book, What Makes Me A Me here!! 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Children's Book Review: Scarface Claw, Hold Tight by Lynley Dodd

I adore the Hairy Maclary range of books, and was delighted to receive the latest book in the series, Scarface Claw, Hold Tight! which is released this October.

Scarface Claw is having a snooze in the morning sun, but what he doesn't realise is that he is actually napping on the roof of the postman's van!
When the vehicle begins to move as the postman makes his deliveries, Scarface Claw is taken on a rather adventurous ride through the town, but can he manage to hold on tight?

This is another great book from Lynley. Her illustrations capture the theatrics of Scarface Claw, and other characters in the book, beautifully.
The rhyming verse makes for a great read-out-loud book. 
This is sure to be another hit amongst fans of the classic Hairy Maclary series.

Scarface Claw, Hold Tight! is released through Penguin Random House Australia, and has an RP of $19.99
For further information on this title, head here 

Does your young reader enjoy Lynley Dodd's books? Which one is their (or your) favourite? Feel free to share below! 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Children's Book Review & Giveaway: What Makes Me A Me? by Ben Faulks & David Tazzyman 

Everybody is different in their own unique way, and this thought-provoking children's book explores the things that make us who we are. 
As the little boy in the story discovers, whilst we have things in common with others, and even inherit traits from our families, no two people are the same. 
We each have our own identity, and What Makes Me A Me highlights this in a very clever and funny way. 
The sketch-like illustrations (by David Tazzyman - illustrator of You Can't Take An Elephant On A Bus), are bright and detailed, adding to the charm of the story.
The book is released this month and has an RRP of $14.99, and I am pleased to let you know that the lovely people at Bloomsbury  have given me a copy of What Makes Me A Me to give away to one lucky follower!

To enter: 

You must be a follower of my blog (either by liking my Facebook page/twitter/Instagram. I don't mind which one you opt for but you must do at least one please), and

Answer in the comments section below:

Who would you give this book to if you won, and why?

The most creative/original answer will win, so get entering, and please include your email with your answer so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner! 

Terms & Conditions:
1. This giveaway is open to residents of Australia only. 

2. Giveaway closes on 30th October 2017, 9 pm. Winner will be contacted via email within 24 hours. Failure to receive a response from the winner will mean the prize is forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
3. Winner will be selected on a basis of skill, not chance - the most creative and/or interesting answer deemed by the judge/s wins. 
4. The prize is not redeemable for cash.
5. In  The Good Books blog will not be responsible for items that go missing through Australia Post postal services.
6. This promotion is not associated or endorsed by Facebook.
7. Those who 'unlike' or 'unfollow' after the giveaway ends will be disqualified from entering future giveaways.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Children's Book Review: Dinosaur A To Z by Dustin Growick 

Does your young reader love Dinosaurs? If so, then this book is sure to delight!
Dinosaur A to Z offers a fantastic look at the fascinating world of these prehistoric creatures.
The hardback book begins with an explanation of what a dinosaur is, as well as dinosaur groups (Theropods, Sauropods, Ceratopsians and Ornithopods), and the special features relating to each group.
The dinosaurs are featured in alphabetical order, with interesting facts about each one, and they are even colour coded so the reader can see which period the dinosaur came from. 
There are feature pages about certain dinosaurs, and details about their diet, weight, and names.
There is also a large fold-out poster included for you to display. 
The pictures are very detailed, and vibrant too. There are over 100 different dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures featured throughout the book. 

Dinosaur A To Z is available through DK Books this October, and has an RRP of $35.
For further information about this title, head here

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Children's Book Reviews (and a giveaway!)
Spot Goes To The Fire Station by Eric Hill

This newly released board book is ideal for younger readers.
In Spot Goes To The Fire Station, Spot enjoys a day at the fire station with his grandpa.

He thinks that he is ready to be a great fire fighter, but his grandpa isn't so sure!

RRP $12.99, available through Penguin Random House Australia. 
To win a copy of Spot Goes To The Fire Station, head to my Facebook  or Instagram  to enter!

Peppa Pig - Peppa Visits The Outback 

                Peppa Pig: Peppa Visits the Outback

Peppa, along with Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, and brother George, head to Australia to visit Kylie Kangaroo. 
Mr Kangaroo flies them to the outback to enjoy a picnic together. It's a magical time for all!
This board book is perfect for younger readers, and fans of Peppa Pig.

RRP $9.99, available through Penguin Random House Australia. 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Recipe Book Review:  Bourke Street Bakery All Things Sweet by Paul Allam and David McGuinness

I was delighted to receive a copy of Bourke Street Bakery All Things Sweet to feature here on the blog, especially as I have a rather sweet tooth!
Authors Paul Allam and David McGuinness are chefs and bakers who co-own the very successful Bourke Street Bakery empire.
They have previously released another recipe book, Bourke St Bakery Cookbook, which is an International bestseller.

Now they are back with this stunning hardcover book, which features many delicious recipes and helpful hints. 
Some of the recipes include: lamingtons, brioche, croissants, nougat, tarts and biscuits, and many more.

The images in All Things Sweet are a visual feast, and guaranteed to make you drool!

I'm glad to share with you some of the recipes that can be found in All Things Sweet:

Chocolate Brioche doughnuts

'These came about after we had a build-up of chocolate ganache from our Chocolate ganache tarts on page 154 and we were looking for a home for
it — which we found, within these beautifully moist, deep-fried brioche balls.
We are lucky that these get into our shops at all, as they only get made on
a Friday to Sunday and the office staff devour them.'

Makes 20

1 quantity Sugar brioche dough 
cottonseed oil, for deep-frying
100 g (31/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
800 g (1 lb 12 oz) Chocolate ganache 

Shape the brioche dough into 40 g (11/2 oz) balls and leave
to prove for 3 hours at 26–28°C (79–82°F).
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan to 170°C (340°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 20 seconds.
Meanwhile, spread the sugar and cinnamon on a plate, mixing to combine.
Working in batches, fry the doughnuts for 5 minutes in total, flipping them over halfway through.
Remove the doughnuts using a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towel. Immediately roll in the cinnamon sugar and allow to cool.
Attach a thin nozzle to a piping (icing) bag, and use it to pierce a hole in each doughnut. Pipe about 30 g (1 oz) of chocolate ganache into each doughnut.
These doughnuts will last a day, if you don’t have children.

Sugar brioche

Makes two 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) loaves

375 g (13 oz) bakers’ flour
250 g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
11/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
70 ml (21/4 floz) milk
125 g (41/2 oz) unsalted butter, diced and softened
mild-flavoured oil, for brushing

125 g (41/2 oz) bakers’ flour
95 ml (31/4 floz) milk
30 g (1 oz) compressed fresh yeast

Put the starter ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Wrap the bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 3 hours. 
Transfer the yeast mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the flour, sugar, salt, eggs and milk. Mix on medium speed for 8–10 minutes, or until a smooth dough is formed.
Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Add the butter to the dough and mix on low speed 
for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, or until the butter has been incorporated. 
Transfer the dough to a clean, greased bowl or container and cover the surface of the dough with plastic wrap. 
Refrigerate overnight; this step needs to be done to set the butter in the dough, and allow the yeast to ferment. 
The next day, remove the dough from the fridge and 
set aside for 30 minutes. 
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a ball 
and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. 
Brush two 9 x 17 x 10 cm deep (31/2 x 61/2 x 4 inch) loaf (bar) tins with oil. Form each piece of dough into a loaf shape and place into the loaf tins. Set aside for 3–5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Bake the loaves for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
The loaves will keep in a tied-up plastic bag in your bread bin for 4 days.

Chocolate Ganache tarts

'Paul’s nephew, Elijah, when he was three years old, used to scoop and lick out every morsel of the chocolate tart filling, leaving the tart shell entirely empty and perfectly clean. His birthday cake for years was a mound of these tarts. 
These tarts are so popular we couldn’t help sharing this recipe from our first book. At Bourke Street Bakery we use Belgian chocolate in these tarts. It is worth spending a little more on the highest-quality chocolate you can lay your hands on — you’ll taste the difference… or the Elijah in your life will, at least.'

Makes 20 tarts, 8 cm (31/4 inches) in size

1 quantity Sweet shortcrust pastry (see page 134)

chocolate ganache filling 
850 g (1 lb 14 oz) good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
500 ml (17 floz/2 cups) thin (pouring) cream (35% fat)

Follow the instructions on pages 135-136 to roll out the pastry and use it to line twenty 8 cm (31/4 inch) round, fluted loose-based tart tins. Rest the pastry cases in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
Blind-bake the tart cases in a preheated 200°C (400°F) oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To make the filling, put the chocolate in a stainless 
steel bowl. Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring 
to the boil over high heat — this needs to happen quickly 
so the cream doesn’t evaporate and reduce in volume. 
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until well combined. Be careful not to create air bubbles, as these will give a pocked look 
to the top of the tarts. 
Pour the chocolate mixture into a jug, then pour it into 
the cooled blind-baked tart shells, filling them to the brim.
Allow the tarts to set at room temperature overnight 
in a plastic airtight container. 
These chocolate tarts are best not refrigerated and should be eaten within 24 hours. If you do need to keep them for longer, they can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, then brought back to room temperature to be eaten, but condensation will form on the top after refrigeration, 
which will affect their appearance. 

Custard tart

'This is a golden oldie. On road trips into the country when I was a kid we 
would always have Devonshire tea at some point, or custard tarts. 
The key to a really good old-fashioned custard tart is to make sure the custard is silky, firm and light, but still a little wobbly. After you lightly sprinkle some nutmeg on top, it’s ready to eat — taste the past and enjoy.'

Makes one 28 cm (111/4 inch) tart

melted butter, for greasing
1 quantity Sweet shortcrust pastry (see page 134)
900 ml (31 floz) thin (pouring) cream (35% fat)
150 ml (5 floz) milk
100 g (31/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
15 egg yolks
2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
grated nutmeg, for sprinkling

Roll out the pastry to 4 mm (3/16 inch) thick and cut it into 
a 32 cm (121/2 inch) disc. 
Knead the excess dough back together and roll it out again to get a few smaller discs to keep in the freezer.
Place the pastry round on top of a 28 cm (111/4 inch), 3.5 cm (11/4 inch) deep tart tin, ensuring it is in the centre, and use your fingers to gently push the pastry into the 
tin, moving round the rim until all the pastry has been inserted — you should now have about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of dough hanging over the sides. Use your index finger and thumb to work your way around the edge, forcing the pastry into the tin so that little or no pastry is left protruding. Where the upright edge of the pastry meets the base, there should be a sharp angle where it has been firmly forced into the corner — this method of lining the tin is to counteract 
the pastry shrinking once baked.
Rest the pastry case in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Blind-bake the pastry case for 20–25 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Turn the oven down to 110°C (225°F), without the fan on.
Set the cooled blind-baked tart shell on a baking tray. 
Put the cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla seeds 
in a bowl and whisk to combine, being careful not to aerate the mixture. Strain the mixture and pour into the tart shell. 
Bake for 11/2–2 hours, or until the filling is just set; halfway through baking, turn the tray around and dust the top of 
the tart with grated nutmeg. 
Cool for 1 hour before serving. The tart will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I love the layout of the book; it is set out into ten chapters, and each chapter has a lot of hints and tips to guide you through, so even if you are not a very experienced baker, you will be able to create a lovely sweet treat following Paul and David's guide. 

Bourke Street Bakery All Things Sweet is available this October though Murdoch Books. For further information on this title, head here

Please note: Images and recipes from Bourke Street Bakery: All Things Sweet by Paul Allam and David McGuinness (Murdoch Books, RPR $55.00) Photography by Alan Benson.