- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus melted butter for pans
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pound almond paste
- 1 1/2 cups (about 6 large) eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup apricot jam
- 3 pounds pouring fondant
- Gold and violet food coloring
- 2 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush three 12 1/2-by-9-inch rimmed baking sheets with butter. Line with parchment paper; set aside
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and almond paste, on medium speed, until well combined. Add the butter, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Add the flour, almond extract, and salt, and beat until just combined.
- Divide evenly between prepared baking sheets, smoothing batter with an offset spatula. Bake until just set, but not browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to wire racks to cool.
- Purée apricot jam in a food processor. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn one cake layer out onto lined baking sheet. Spread half of the apricot jam in an even layer over cake. Top with a second cake layer. Spread with remaining jam. Top with final layer. Place a piece of parchment paper over final layer, and top with a second baking sheet. Weigh down with two large cans. Transfer to refrigerator until cold, at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and a cooling rack; set aside. Remove cake from refrigerator and cut into desired shapes. Place on cooling rack; set aside.
- Place the fondant in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, until pourable. You should have about 4 cups. Tint to desired shade with food coloring. Spoon fondant over cakes, coating evenly. Let stand until set, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a clean baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper.
- Place melted chocolate in a small piping bag fitted with a very small plain tip. Pipe decorations onto cakes with chocolate. Let stand until set.
Store at room temperature, uncovered, for up to 2 days.