Start by making the sponge. Preheat the oven to 180C / fan 160C / gas mark 4 and grease and line a 20cm sandwich tin.
Cream together 120g soft brown sugar and 120g butter, then beat in the eggs one-by-one with an electric hand whisk.
Finely chop the ginger and fold this and a tablespoon of syrup into the mix using a silicone spatula.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and ground ginger and fold this into the wet mixture.
Pour into the sandwich tin and bake for 25 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when poked into the centre.
When cooked, leave on a rack to cool, then cut into segments and lay these into the bottom of your trifle bowl.
Extract 60ml cherry syrup from your tinned cherries and mix this with 100ml cherry brandy / liqueur. Drizzle this over the cooled ginger sponge.
Make up one pack of jelly and pour this over the sponge.
Drain the tinned cherries and tip them onto the jelly mix. Put the bowl in the fridge and allow to set for at least six hours. Once set, make up the second pack of jelly, pour this on top and allow to set – preferably overnight.
To make the custard, mix together the egg yolks, caster sugar, cornflour and vanilla paste in a heat proof bowl, using a silicone spatula.
Heat the milk in a saucepan until just below simmering, then pour into the beaten egg yolk mixture, mixing with a silicone spatula.
Tip the combined custard back into the saucepan and gently heat, mixing constantly until thickened up. When thickened, pour this into a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool in the fridge. Make sure the cling film touches the surface of the custard, otherwise a ‘skin’ will form as it’s chilling.
To make the stem ginger shortbread, beat together the butter, salt and light brown sugar with an electric hand whisk until soft and creamy.
Mix in the finely chopped stem ginger with a silicone spatula then sift together the flour, ground ginger and mixed spice. Fold this into the wet ingredients with your spatula to make a shortbread dough.
Roll out the shortbread dough between two pieces of baking parchment or greaseproof paper to a depth of around 5mm, then press out small star shapes. Lay the stars onto a baking tray / sheet lined with baking parchment and keep re-rolling and pressing the dough to cut out all the stars.
Place the shortbread stars into the fridge to firm up for around 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 180C / fan 160C / gas mark 4.
Once the shortbread has chilled and firmed, bake it for 15 minutes until light brown. Keep an eye on the stars – make sure they don’t burn. After 15 minutes, take the shortbread stars out and allow to cool.
Whisk together 250ml double cream until soft peaks form, then fold this into the chilled custard.
Arrange half of the shortbread around the trifle bowl and spoon the custard on top of the set jelly layer.
Whisk the remaining 500ml double cream and spoon over the custard layer. Arrange the biscuits on top, chill and eat!