Cooking oil spray, to grease
250g soft and juicy dried figs, finely chopped
250g prunes, finely chopped
¾ cup spiced dark rum
250g butter, chopped, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup golden syrup
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 tsp mixed spice
200g dark chocolate
220g dark chocolate melts, melted
Icing sugar mixture, to dust
150g dark chocolate
1/3 cup thickened cream
Grease eight 7cm round cake tins with cooking oil. Line base and sides with baking paper, then put on an oven tray.
Put figs, raisins, prunes and ½ cup rum in a large bowl, stirring to combine. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 160ºC. Put butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add golden syrup, beating to combine. Spoon fig mixture into butter mixture, mixing well to combine. Sift in flours, cocoa and mixed spice, stirring to combine. Add chocolate, stirring to incorporate. Spoon into tins and smooth.
Bake for 50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Brush remaining rum on top. Cool completely in tin.
Meanwhile, spread melted dark chocolate on a 30cm-long piece of baking paper until about 3mm thick. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until just beginning to set (still slightly soft). Remove from fridge. Using a fork, make a zigzag pattern on chocolate to resemble tree bark. Return to fridge and chill for a further 30 minutes or until set firmly. Break chocolate into shards.
Meanwhile, to make ganache icing, put cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Add melted chocolate to cream, stirring until smooth. Set aside until icing reaches spreadable consistency.
Spread a thin layer of chocolate ganache over top and sides of cakes. Decorate sides with chocolate shards. Serve cakes dusted with icing sugar.