To make the raspberry jelly:
- Add the raspberries, sugar and 2 tbsp water to a saucepan, cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 5-6 minutes until soft. Blitz in a blender (or with a stick blender) to a purée. Pass through a fine sieve set over a measuring jug – you should end up with 300-400ml smooth raspberry juice, depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
- Top up the jug to 650ml with water and add the liqueur, if using. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water for 4-5 minutes to soften.
- Pour the diluted raspberry juice into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, squeeze out any excess liquid from the gelatine sheets and whisk into the hot juice. Once fully dissolved, pour into a large trifle dish or glass serving bowl. Allow to cool then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or until set.
To make the custard:
- Add the cream to a saucepan set over a medium heat. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the pan. Bring to a boil.
- Put the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl and lightly whisk together. Pour half the hot cream over the eggs, whisking continuously.
- Pour this egg mixture back into the pan and place over a gentle heat. Continue to gently whisk over a low heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (you can test this by checking the temperature reaches 65-70°C with a kitchen thermometer, be careful not to let the custard boil).
- Transfer to a bowl or large jug, cover the top with a layer of greaseproof paper or cling film to stop a skin forming then chill in the fridge until needed.
To assemble the trifle:
- Once the jelly has set and the custard has cooled, remove from the fridge. Arrange the sponge fingers in an even layer over the jelly, using as many or breaking pieces as needed to fit the dish (you may not need all of them).
- Sprinkle over half the raspberries then pour over the cooled custard.
- Put the cream in a large bowl and whip to soft peaks. Gently spread this over the custard. The trifle can now be chilled for a few hours if preparing ahead.
- Top with the remaining raspberries and grate over the dark chocolate to serve.
Tips: You could easily adapt this trifle with different fruits and flavours:
At Christmas, swap the raspberry liqueur for brandy and the vanilla in the custard for cinnamon and nutmeg.
Try a Scottish twist by whipping the cream with a little whisky and honey and topping with toasted oats instead of the dark chocolate as a nod to a traditional cranachan dessert.
In summer, try our Strawberry trifle recipe which is flavoured with elderflower, balsamic and basil.