For the cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 150g sugar (I used 75g caster and 75g panela which has a caramel-like flavour and is also called rapadura. Alternatively, you can use light brown sugar)
  • 150ml White Fortified (or Rutherglen Topaque)
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 180g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

For the syrup:

  • 1 cup White Fortified plus 2 extra tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup panela
  • 50g butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup hot water



  1. Heat oven to 180ºC. Line a 20cm round cake tin
  2. Beat sugar and eggs until thick and fluffy-about five minutes. Add White Fortified, melted butter and vanilla essence. Stir in sifted flour and baking powder, mixing well until very smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into the cake tin and bake for around 30-35 minutes or until it is golden and curved on top or when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Rest for 15 minutes.


  1. For the syrup, gently simmer White Fortified over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it has reduced in size by three quarters. It will bubble and froth so stir regularly.
  2. In a separate saucepan, pour in caster sugar and panela and stir over low heat. Add two tablespoons of White Fortified to make a thick paste. Stir constantly whilst sugar caramelises and turns golden brown and fragrant.
  3. Add 50g butter and melt, stirring whilst it bubbles and froths. Add vanilla bean and seeds and 1/2 cup hot water. Turn up the heat and thicken, always careful not to burn the syrup.
  4. Add this caramel syrup to the White Fortified syrup, simmer on low heat for ten minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency. It should coat the back of a spoon but still be able to pour easily. Too long on the heat will turn it into toffee where you have to bite it off the spoon! However, if it turns this way, you can always make Boozey S&K Ice Cream using WF or Topaque and swirl through the syrup to create a caramel flavoured treat.
  5. Discard vanilla bean


  1. Once the cake is cool enough to handle, transfer to a large plate and top with fresh figs and icing sugar. Either drizzle the hot syrup over the top or into a small carafe or jug.