For the filling: Combine the figs and 1 cup golden raisins in a medium bowl. Pour 1 1/2 cups sherry over the fruit. In a separate small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup raisins and 1/2 cup sherry. Cover the bowls with plastic and set aside at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 20 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a large bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff; set aside. Alternately add the flour and milk to the butter mixture in 2 batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in the almond extract. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter until combined; fold in the remaining whites.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake the cupcakes 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake tests clean. Cool in tins 5 minutes; remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, use a serrated knife to gently trim off tops of cupcakes; set aside.
For the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extract. Spoon the syrup on the cupcakes.
For the frosting: In a large bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water, combine sugar, water, egg whites, corn syrup and salt. Beat mixture with a hand mixer about 7 minutes or until the frosting holds its shape on a spoon. Stir in lemon juice, almond and vanilla. Remove 2 cups frosting to a medium bowl; strain the soaked fig and raisin mixture and stir into separate portion of frosting to use as filling.
Spoon generous amount of filling onto cupcake bases; replace tops. Spread cupcakes with reserved frosting. Remove remaining raisins from brandy and top cupcakes with raisins.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Sugar Bakeshop