Place the dates, sultanas, raisins, figs, sugar, butter, water and vanilla essence in a small saucepan and bring to the boil on medium heat, until the sugar has melted and the fruit is soft. Leave to cool.
Add the orange zest, egg, whiskey (optional) and mix through.
Sieve the flour, baking soda and spices. Add to the wet mixture and mix until incorporated.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins ¾ of the way full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes on 140 degrees Celsius, leave to cool.
In the meantime, prepare your whiskey caramel sauce by heating up the sugar in a small saucepan, on medium heat.
Using the swirling method, swirl the saucepan around to allow the sugar to melt evenly, until it starts turning a golden colour.
Remove from heat and carefully pour the cream into the hot melted sugar. It will bubble up, so be carefull. Whisk until combined and replace the pot on the heat to cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the caramel again, this time carefully add the butter and whiskey – whisking until incorporated. Set aside.
Once the cakes are cooled remove them from the muffin tins and serve with caramel whiskey and whipped cream.