Lightly oil two 23cm (9”) sandwich tins and line the bases with circles of baking parchment.
Cream butter and sugar until well combined, light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, continuing to combine.
In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking powder then fold in to the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Stir in dissolved cocoa and maple syrup, and mix thoroughly.
Divide mixture between the two sandwich tins, place the tins in the centre of a pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. The sponge is baked through when well risen and firm to touch. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out on to wire racks, remove baking parchment and allow to cool thoroughly.
Whilst the cakes are cooling, warm the cream, chocolate and Matchmakers in a saucepan over a low heat for the peppermint cream filling. Once all the ingredients have melted together, remove the mixture from heat and beat in the butter. Fold in the whisked egg whites and leave to cool and set.
For the ganache, melt the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat, until the two ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Remove the mixture from the heat, beating in the butter until it has a thick, glossy consistency. Set aside to cool.
To construct the cake, spread the peppermint filling on to one side of the cooled sponge and sandwich the second sponge cake on top. Liberally spread the ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. Sprinkle the crushed mints over the top just before serving for a diamond-like sparkle.
Recipe courtesy of Neff.