Prepare cake; cool completely. To prepare creme anglaise, in a heavy saucepan bring 1-1/3 cups whipping cream and vanilla bean, if using, just to boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. In a mixing bowl, combine a small amount of the hot cream, egg yolks, and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually stir about half of the remaining cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Return all of the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture returns to boiling. Remove from heat. Remove and discard vanilla bean or stir in liquid vanilla, if using. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Cut or tear the cake layer into 1-inch pieces. In a 1-1/2-quart clear glass serving bowl with straight sides, a souffle dish, or a serving bowl, place half of the cake pieces. Sprinkle with half of the sherry or orange juice. Spoon on half of the raspberry or strawberry preserves by small teaspoons. Sprinkle with the almonds. Pour half of the creme anglaise over all. Repeat layers using the remaining cake piece, sherry or orange juice, preserves, and creme anglaise. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours before serving.
Just before serving, spread about half of the Sweetened Whipped Cream over top. Arrange raspberries or strawberries on top. reserving some berries to garnish. To garnish, spoon the remaining Sweetened Whipped Cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip (about 1/4-inch opening). Pipe stars around the outer edge of the trifle. Place a berry in the center of each star. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Hot Milk Sponge Cake
Grease and lightly flour a 9x1-1/2-inch or 8x1-1/2-inch round baking pan; set aside. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Beat egg with an electric mixer on high speed 3 to 4 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed 4 to 5 minutes or until sugar is almost dissolved. Add flour mixture. Beat on low to medium speed just until combined. Heat milk and butter just until butter melts. Stir warm milk mixture into egg mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Bake in a 350 degree F oven 18 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake and cool completely on wire rack.