*Note: this recipe uses a trifle dish for layering and presentation. If you don't have a trifle dish, you could layer the dessert in a 9X13-inch pan but will probably only do two layers instead of four.
1 (12-ounce) package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice, bottled or freshly squeezed
50 crisp ladyfingers or 40 chamagne/almond biscuits, crisp style
sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
fresh raspberries, for garnish
In a blender or food processor, puree the thawed raspberries until smooth. Strain the raspberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl to get rid of the seeds. Press the mixture with a spoon through the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. You should end up with about 1 cup of puree. Discard the seeds.
Using a handheld or electric stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl until smooth. In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, using a rubber spatula to fold the mixture together so the cream doesn't deflate. Fold in the raspberry puree and gently mix until just combined.
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool until lukewarm to the touch. You can pour the syrup into a shallow pie plate for easier dipping or keep it in the pan - your choice.
Briefly dip the ladyfingers or biscuits in the syrup - about 1-2 seconds each side. Layer the soaked ladyfingers/biscuits in a single layer in the trifle dish. Gently spread 1/4 of the raspberry cream cheese mixture over the ladyfingers then repeat the layers 3 more times, ending with the raspberry cream cheese (alternately, you can use slightly less ladyfingers and repeat all the layers only three times). Refrigerate the trifle for 3 hours (or up to 12), garnish with additional sweetened whipped cream, if desired, and fresh berries and serve chilled.