For the sponge base:
- Oil, to grease
- 110g butter, softened
- 110g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 110g self-raising flour
- ½–1 tbsp water or milk
- 4 tbsp good quality raspberry jam
- 90–120ml (6–9 tbsp) Amaretto liqueur
For the custard:
- 150ml milk
- 150ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 egg yolks
- 2–3 tbsp caster sugar, to taste
For the fruit and topping:
- 200g fresh raspberries
- 300ml double cream
- 1–2 tbsp icing sugar, to taste
- 4 small ratafia biscuits
For the Victoria sponge, heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Lightly brush a 20cm sandwich tin with a little oil and line the base of each with a disc of greaseproof paper.
Using a wooden spoon or hand-held electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl until pale, light and fluffy (as shown). The paler the mixture becomes the better, as it shows that more air has been incorporated, which will help to create a lighter cake.
Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork until broken up. Gradually add the egg to the creamed butter and sugar (as shown), in several additions and beating well after each. Adding eggs that are too cold, or adding them too quickly, can cause the mixture to curdle. If this happens, add 1 tbsp of the flour to help to stabilise the mixture.
Once all the egg has been added, sift the flour over the surface and fold it in, using a large metal spoon (as shown). To bring the mixture to a dropping consistency, if necessary, fold in ½–1 tbsp water or milk.
Place the mixture in the prepared tin and smooth the top using a spatula. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20–30 minutes, or until well risen and golden. It should feel spongy to the fingertips and not leave an indentation when pressed gently.
Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely before peeling off the lining paper.
For the custard, place the milk and cream in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and add it to the pan. Slowly bring up to scalding point (just below boiling) over a low heat, then remove from the heat and leave to stand for 15 minutes to allow the vanilla to infuse into the milk.
Cut the cake into thick slices. Sandwich the slices together in pairs with the raspberry jam and arrange in the bottom of a glass serving dish. Sprinkle with the liqueur and set aside to soak while you make the custard.
To make the custard, lightly beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Bring the milk back to scalding point and pour over the yolks, stirring. Rinse out the pan and pour the custard back in. Heat over a low to medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl and leave to cool down slightly, for 5 minutes.
Pour the custard over the cake and set aside until cold. Sprinkle the raspberries over the cold custard layer. Whip the cream with the icing sugar to a little firmer than soft peaks and spoon decoratively over the trifle. Crumble the ratafia biscuits over the cream to serve.