5 issues of BBC Good Food for £5
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and boil the kettle. First, make the chocolate cake. Liberally grease the bundt tin with butter, then dust with flour and shake out the excess. Put the cocoa in a bowl with a pinch of salt, cover with 150ml hot water from the kettle, mix until smooth, then set aside to cool. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold everything together. Stir the soured cream into the cocoa mixture, then add to the other bowl and mix until just combined, then scrape into the prepared tin. Bake for 35 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 15 mins in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cake is cool, transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and make space for the cake and tray in your freezer. Slice the cake into pieces roughly the thickness of your star cutter, then pull each piece out a little, so there is space around each one. Pop the cake in the freezer for 2 hrs, or overnight.
When the cake is firmly frozen, lay each slice on its side, keeping them in the same circular pattern, and cut out a star, using the cutter, from the middle of each piece. Leftover cake can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months, ready for making a trifle. Return the cut-out stars to the freezer.
Now, make the peppermint cake. Grease the same bundt tin and heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each, then add the flour, soured cream and peppermint extract. Give everything a good mix and scrape half the mixture into the bundt tin. Remove the stars from the freezer and line up in a circle on top of the cake mixture (pointy sides up) – make sure there are no gaps and that the stars perfectly line up. Spoon the remaining cake mixture on top, easing it around the stars until they are just covered. Bake for 45 mins until risen and golden brown and a skewer poked into the side of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, melt the chocolate in short blasts in the microwave, or in a bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring it occasionally. Set aside to cool a little. In a large bowl, beat the icing sugar and butter until pale and smooth. Add the chocolate and peppermint extract, and mix again until combined. When the cake is completely cool, place on a serving plate, then swirl over the chocolate icing, easing it about halfway down the sides to create a snowy effect. Place the Maltesers on top of the cake. Will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container.