Assembled cake can be refrigerated up to two hours ahead. Decorate just before serving. When cooling sponges, ensure cakes are not inverted.
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup almond meal (75g)
½ cup apricot jam
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons orange-flavoured liqueur
2 tablespoons icing sugar mixture
4 ripe yellow peaches (600g), cut into thin wedges
600ml tub thickened cream
¼ cup icing sugar mixture
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g tub mascarpone
¼ cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted
¾ cup caster sugar
Grease two x 20cm round cake pans. Line bases and sides with baking paper, extending paper 3cm above pan edges.
Beat eggs and caster sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer for about 10 minutes, or until very thick and pale.
Sift combined flour and baking powder over egg mixture. Using a large whisk, gently fold to combine. (Do not stir.) Gently fold in almond meal. Divide between prepared pans.
Cook in a moderately slow oven (160C) for about 30 minutes, or until sponges slightly shrink away from side of pans. Remove from oven. Stand in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks lined with baking paper. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk jam, juice, liqueur and icing sugar in a large bowl. Add peaches. Toss to coat. Stand for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving syrup.
To make mascarpone cream, beat cream, sugar and vanilla in the large bowl of electric mixer until firm peaks form. Fold in mascarpone.
To assemble, cut sponges horizontally in half. Place one half on a serving plate. Drizzle over ¼ cup reserved syrup. Top with a quarter of the peaches, then 1 cup mascarpone cream. Repeat layering with remaining sponges, syrup, peaches and mascarpone cream, finishing with a sponge layer.
Cover cake with plastic wrap. Refrigerate with remaining cream, peaches and syrup for 30 minutes. This allows cake layers to settle and hold together.
Meanwhile, make toffee. Spread almonds over an oven tray lined with baking paper. Place sugar and ½ cup water in a medium frying pan over heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil. Gently boil for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove pan from heat. Allow bubbles to subside. Pour over almonds. Stand until set. Break toffee into shards.
To serve, spread remaining cream over top of sponge. Top with remaining peaches and syrup. Decorate with toffee shards.