Melted butter, to grease, plus extra 500g, chopped
200g white chocolate, chopped
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 x 395g cans sweetened condensed milk
120ml Frangelico or Baileys liqueur
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
600ml thickened cream, whipped
¼ cup thick caramel sauce, to serve (recipe, below)
3 fresh figs, cut into wedges
Blackberries, mini white meringues, hazelnuts, chocolate toffee shards (recipe, below), to garnish
Xanadu leaves and dusty miller leaves, to decorate (not for eating)
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C fan-forced (170 degrees C conventional). Grease two 20cm round cake tins with butter and line bases and sides with baking powder.
Combine chocolate, sugar and extra butter in a large saucepan and stir over low heat until chocolate has melted. Pour in condensed milk and liqueur and cook, stirring constantly, for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Add eggs to cooled mixture and whisk until combined. Sift in flours, then stir with a hand whisk until just combined.
Divide batter evenly between prepared tins. Bake for 1 hour 50 minutes, or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool cakes in tins for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Trim the top of the cooled cakes to level, then slice each cake in half horizontally using a serrated knife or cake leveller.
To assemble the cake, put the base piece of one cake on a serving plate, cut side up. Spoon ¼ of the cream on top, then continue layering with cake and cream, ensuring the last layer of cake is the remaining base piece of cake, cut side down, and finishing with a layer of cream.
Drizzle with caramel sauce, and arrange figs, blackberries, meringues, hazelnuts and shards on top. Decorate with leaves. Serve.
To make a thick caramel sauce, combine 1 cup caster sugar and 125ml water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Boil, without stirring, for 8 minutes or until mixture turns rich golden. Remove from heat and immediately stir in 125ml thickened cream. Return to heat, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Set aside for 5 minutes, transfer to a heatproof bowl and chill for 1 hour or until cooled to desired consistency. Makes 1 cup.
CHOCOLATE TOFFEE SHARDS
Combine ½ cup caster sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until light amber in colour. Remove from heat and add 50g finely chopped dark chocolate, stirring until melted.
Using a heatproof teaspoon, put a spoonful of mixture on a piece of non-stick baking paper and drag it to form a brush-stroke teardrop shape. Repeat to make 12 decorative shards. Set aside for 5 minutes or until set rock hard.
When decorating with inedible flowers or leaves, always wrap the stems in floral tape to avoid sap getting onto the cake.