Australian Pavlova Blog Hop: Chocolate M&M Pav Sundae with Orange Cream

I’m not afraid to say that i’m an ideas-woman. I have killer ideas. Ideas for TV shows, ideas for books, ideas for outfits, ideas for travel, mostly ideas for food. Perhaps I just have an overactive imagination? Anyway, with this gift also comes a curse. I’m not really what you would call a do-er. I never finish things. I rarely get things done. I see deadlines whoosh past me. Which is why, despite the best of intentions, when I heard about the Australian Pavlova Blog Hop on twitter (yes, i’m now a twit) deep down I knew I wasn’t going to make the deadline. But, im also not a quitter so when I made up my mind to make this Chocolate M&M Pav Sundae, even though it would end up being a week late, I knew I was going to get around to it.

Ok, so it isn’t the prettiest dessert but boy was it yummy!

There were lots of recipes floating around (including a particularly spacey Tardis Pav recipe by Mel from Crunchy Tiger) but I thought I would give a delicious looking chocolate pav recipe a crack. I didn’t want to do a traditional fruit pavlova, mostly because it was a bit same old same old and I wanted to do something different. But also a tiny bit because I hate passionfruit seeds and didnt want to do the chopped-fruit-with-passionfruit-pulp-on-top thing. Bah, who am I kidding, I just wanted an excuse to use…


Yes, that is 1.4 litres of Hershey’s chocolate sauce. Thank you Costco.

The other pretty big reason why I wanted to turn my pavlova into a sunday was mostly because of this:

I think that because I left it out overnight (and the outside had cracked) the marshmallowy inside disintegrated in the humidity into, well lets face it, quite a tasty pool of chocolate slush.

But all turned out well in the end and it was quite a theraputic process, cooking this baby.

And I got to use the new kitchenaid stand mixer! Yay!

The recipe called for the mixing in of some chopped up chocolate but I figured m&ms would but much more colourful and fun

Because of the extreme shadows in my oven I didn’t realise that my pav had collapsed until it the morning 🙁 boo!

so then I whipped up some cream, stirred through the rind of two oranges and some Grand Marnier, poured some Hershey’s liquid gold over the top and had myself a delicious

Chocolate M&M Pav Sundae

as if you could resist a close up of that crispy, gooey, messy, creamy, orangey, chocolaty deliciousness

So, my lovelies, what is the coolest/craziest/best idea you’ve ever had?

I make this Pavlova in participation with the Sweet Adventures: Australian Blog Hop. You can find instructions on how to join by clicking on the link below.


Chocolate M&M Pavlova Recipe – adapted from this recipe


6 egg whites
1½ cups (330g) caster sugar
¼ cup (25g) cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
100g m&ms


1.  Whip your egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form

2. Gradually add the sugar making sure that the sugar dissolves between additions

3. When the sugar is dissolved, fold in the sifted cocoa, vinegar and m&ms

4. Draw a 22cm circle on a sheet of baking paper and spoon the pavlova mix inside. Smooth the sides and top

5. Place the pavlova in an oven heated to 140 degrees celsius (fan forced) then immediately reduce the temperature to 100 degrees. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until dry to the touch. Turn the oven off and cool the pavlova in the oven with the door ajar

Orange Cream Recipe


1 1/2 cup thickened cream

finely grated rind of 2 oranges

2 teaspoons Grand Marnier


1. Whip your cream until soft peaks form

2. stir in the orange rind and grand marnier


1. Break of spoonfuls of your pavlova making sure to get a mix of crunchy outside and marhsmallowy inside

2. layer pieces of pavlova with dollops of orange cream

3. top with a slug of Hersheys Chocolate Topping and a few m&ms

Spiced Pound Cake and teachable moments

 I would like to begin this post with a picture of the delicious crunchy bits that form on the top of some cakes. Enjoy.

Now back to business. Sometimes during the course of a lesson we are lucky to get what we call a ‘teachable moment’. When something unexpected happens (inside or outside of the classroom) from which we can draw a moral, life or course related lesson. Sometimes it’s as simple as seeing what can happen when you swing on your chair – and inevitably fall off and crack your head. Sometimes it’s as complex as discussing the international ramifications of a tragedy such as 9/11. It can be anywhere along that spectrum and it gives the lesson a bit more of an edge and relevance that you hope will leave the students with a lasting impression and a more insightful view of themselves and the world around them.

As i’m a very slapdash cook (and person!), my kitchen disasters often lead to such ‘teachable moments’ in which I realise an important lesson. I don’t often post the recipes that don’t work out. Don’t get me wrong, this recipe is amazing and my lesson is nothing to do with this cake. It is more to do with cutting corners….

It starts with basic cake ingredients. A few eggs, a little butter and sugar…

Then we put the batter into a bundt pan. Trust me, everything tastesbetter as a bundt!

And then we have a delicious fragrant, spicy pound cake!

This cake doubles as a room freshener as the smell of the spices wafting out of the oven while it bakes fills the house making everything smell delicious.

So where’s this ‘teachable moment’ I hear you ask?

well, its nothing to do with the deliciously soft and spongy interior to this cake

or the way its moist innards contrast with the crunchy munchy exterior

instead, my lesson was…

never skimp on greasing the pan.

I said I was lazy and often cut corners. I wing it and fly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes I don’t grease the pan properly. This time, it bit me in the ass. Hard.

While still tasting delicious, I couldn’t help but feel sad for my mangled cake and wonder if it would have tasted even better if I had shown it a tiny bit more love and care and taken time to grease the pan properly. Que sera.

So, my lovelies, what baking (or life) lessons have you learned when you were least expecting it?

Spiced Pound Cake Recipe – Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook


230g unsalted butter

650g caster sugar

5 eggs

240ml full cream milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

400g flour

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

1/2 tsp salt


1. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream until light and fluffy

2. add the eggs one at a time mixing well before adding the next

3. beat in the milk and vanilla extract until well mixed

4. Stir the spices, bicarb and salt into the batter until well combined

5. Pour the batter into a bundt tin and bake in at 170 degrees celsius for 60-70 mins or until golden brown


Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Did you ever read this book when you were little? It’s fantastic because it tells it like it is. Some days are just terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. You know the ones, where you wake up late after sleeping through your alarm, all the hot water is gone and you still need to wash the suds out of your hair then you stub your toe on the vanity while poking yourself in the eye with your mascara wand. Then you get to work and you have an extra class to supervise, its raining and blowing a gale and the kids are all cranky and crazy-like. You forget your laptop and run out of petrol.

So thats not exactly how my day went, but it’s pretty damn close. If you include hitting my head on the car as I got in in the morning. Man, that HURT!

All through the day I was scanning my brain for something warm and gooey to make for a dessert. A little something that I had all the ingredients for and would definitely put a positive end to my day. I had a flashback to the Masterchef Tarte Tatin which would do me a favour by 1. being totally tasty and 2. using up some left over apples and a lonely sheet of puff pastry.

But I forgot, I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And unfortunately, the only thing that can end a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is going to bed and waking up the next day. What should have been a fairly quick and simple dessert turned into… well..


Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Burnt sugar, old, weird pastry and general failure.

At least there’s always the promise of tomorrow… and a foolproof cup of hot milo.

So, my lovelies, what do you do to try to turn a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day around? And does it succeed?

Can you fail at cupcakes? Yes.

So i’ve trumpeted the amazingness of the Donna Hay Buttermilk Chocolate Cake far and wide. “It’s the best chocolate cake ever! It never fails!” I said. Well, we all know what happens when you get too cocky.

This happens.

So just to set the scene, it was a weekday evening. I was trying to do a million things at once, and one of those things was bake cupcakes for a staff morning tea. Where I worked before my faculty always did the best morning tea so I was determined to produce something good for my new workplace! I normally take all the ingredients out of the fridge and the cupboard before cooking just to be sure I actually have all the ingredients. That night, I didn’t.

Can you tell what is wrong with these cupcakes?

I knew something was amiss ten minutes into cooking time. There was no rising action going on in that oven. No action at all! I knew I had put the bi-carb in. I know that sometimes I go out and cant remember if i’ve left my hair straightener on, or even if i’ve locked the door, but I had a crystal clear memory of adding bi-carb.

The cupcakes were dense and sticky and just doughy. Awful. Turns out that clever clogs here had forgotten to add the buttermilk (as in one of the key ingredients) AND the eggs. Go me. Word to the wise my lovelies, always get your ingredients out before you begin baking!!

Of course, I couldn’t leave it there. So I rallied, and made another batch. Avec buttermilk and eggs this time!

Ta da! Keep it simple stupid.

Enough for everyone!

So my lovelies, what crucial element have you left out of a dish before?