Plain sponge cake
1.Prepare jellies in advance, according to packet instructions. Allow time to refrigerate.
2.For the sponge cakes, lightly grease and flour two 22cm round cake tins. Whisk together the sugar and eggs until the sugar has dissolved and the mix becomes thick and smooth. The dry ingredients should be sifted three times and folded lightly into the egg mixture using a spatula. Pour combined butter and the water down side of bowl, and fold through egg mixture. Pour mixture evenly into prepared pans, using metal spatula, spread mixture to edges of pans. Place half the mixture in each cake tin and bake in a preheated oven (180º) for 20 minutes. Cool cakes on a wire rack.
3.For the stewed fruit, the pears can be peeled and halved and quartered, with the core removed. Then poached in a sugar syrup (1 cup water to ½ cup sugar) until tender (test with a skewer). The peaches and apricots can be peeled by covering them for 30 seconds with boiling water. The skins should slip off. Then halve and cut into slices that resemble those seen with tinned fruit.
4.To assemble the trifle, use a large glass or crystal bowl if possible. Cut each sponge cake in half and line the entire bowl with slices of cake. Mix the sherry and cherry brandy together in a jug, and pour some over the cake but don’t totally saturate the cake but make sure each slice gets a good slosh of the alcoholic liquid. Now start layering the ingredients inside the bowl. The fruit followed by some scoops of jelly followed by some custard. Top this with another layer of cake and pour on some more sherry and brandy. Keep layering until the bowl has been filled then topped with a deep layer of whipped cream. The fresh pitted cherries can be used to decorate the top of the trifle but this should be done at the last moment.
Store-bought sponge cakes can also be used in this recipe.Note