Sprinkles, mini chocolate eggs to decorate (optional)
Heat the custard in a saucepan, take off the heat then add the chocolate. Leave for a couple of minutes then stir until the chocolate melts and custard is smooth. Cool slightly before using.
Slice five hot cross buns in half. Use the tops to line the sides of a trifle bowl, lightly pressing the buns against the sides of the bowl.
Cut the remaining buns into small cubes and use half to line the centre of the bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons spiced rum (or see notes for substitutes).
Drain the tinned pears and cut into cubes. Add to the trifle.
Pour the custard over the pears – if you have time chill the trifle at this stage.
Add the remaining cubed hot cross buns and drizzle with rest of the rum.
Whisk the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla until you have just firm peaks.
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip and pipe over the trifle. Alternatively whisk until you have soft peaks and spoon over the trifle.
Drizzle with chocolate or caramel sauce and top with more hot cross buns if you like. Add orange zest / sprinkles / mini chocolate eggs and serve.
• You can use Madeira cake instead of the hot cross buns or leftover cake scraps should you have any. You could freeze cake scraps from levelling cakes for just such a recipe. • Substitute the rum with orange liqueur such as Cointreau, Triple Sec or Grand Marnier. You can also use Marsala Wine. • If you would rather not use any alcohol, you could use a little cooled tea instead. Something herbal like spiced apple or cinnamon would work well. • This trifle is best eaten soon after it is assembled. Any leftovers will keep for another day in the fridge. • Instead of pears you could use stewed apples or fresh orange segments. • You could add white chocolate curls, mini chocolate eggs or Creme Eggs as decorations.