1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottoms of two 9-inch round baking pans with parchment or wax paper.
2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add 1-1/2 cups sugar and cocoa; stir until well blended. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Beat egg yolks in large bowl until slightly thickened. Gradually add cocoa mixture, beating until blended. Stir in water and vanilla. Stir together ground almonds and cake meal; stir about half of mixture into chocolate batter.
3. Beat egg whites in small bowl until foamy; gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold remaining almond mixture into beaten whites. Gradually add egg white mixture to chocolate batter, folding gently until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes (cake will settle slightly). Remove from pans to wire racks; peel off paper. Cool completely. Place 1 layer on serving plate. Heat apricot preserves; strain. Discard fruit. Spread melted preserves over top of layer. Top with remaining layer.
5. Prepare CHOCOLATE CREAM FROSTING; spread over top and sides of torte. Refrigerate until serving time. Garnish with whole almonds, if desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover torte. 12 servings.
CHOCOLATE CREAM FROSTING: Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa in medium bowl . Add 1 cup (1/2 pt.) whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat until stiff. About 2 cups frosting.