Chocolate Apricot Cake

1-cup white granulated sugar
1/3-cup water
3/4-cup all-purpose flour
1/4-cup cocoa
1-teaspoon baking powder
1/4-teaspoon salt
1-can (17-ounce) peeled whole apricots, drained
1-jar (12-ounce) apricot preserves
1-tablespoon lemon juice
1/4-cup almond-flavored liqueur
Chocolate frosting

  Step 1...Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan, 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1 inch, with aluminum foil or waxed paper; and greased generously. Beat the eggs in a small bowl on high-speed until thick and lemon colored, should take about 5 minutes. Pour eggs into a large bowl, beat in sugar gradually, change speed to low and beat in water and vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt gradually, beating just until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan, spreading batter to corners.

   Step 2...Bake until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan; invert on a towel and sprinkle generously with cocoa. Carefully remove the foil and cool the cake. When cool, trim stiff edges of cake if necessary. Cut cake crosswise into 3 equal pieces, about 10-1/2 x 5 inches each.

Now is a good time to make the frosting.
1/2-cup butter, softened
3-ounces unsweetened melted chocolate, cooled
3-cups powered sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
about 3-tablespoons milk

  Step 1...Mix the 1/2 cup softened butter and melted chocolate and stir in the 3 cups powdered sugar. Beat in the remaining ingredients until frosting is spreading consistency. Set aside.

   Step 3...Cut apricots in halves and remove pits, drain the halves cut side down. Heat the jar of apricot preserves and the 1 tablespoon lemon juice just to boiling. Remove from heat.

   Step 4...Place one section of cake on a serving plate; sprinkle with 1-tablespoon of the almond-flavored liqueur. Spread about 1/3 cup of the frosting on cake within about 3/8 inch of edges. Spread with 1/3 cup of the apricot mixture. Place second cake piece on apricot mixture; sprinkle with 1-tablespoon liqueur. Spread with 1/3 cup frosting and 1/3 cup apricot mixture; top with remaining cake piece. Sprinkle cake with remaining liqueur. Arrange apricot halves, cut side down, on cake. Spread remaining apricot mixture over apricots. Remove 1-cup of frosting and set aside. Frost sides of cake with the rest of the frosting. Place the frosting that you set aside in a decorating tube, fitted with a decorating tip; pipe a border around top and bottom edges of cake. Cover and store at room temperature no longer than 24 hours.