In a large bowl, whisk mascarpone cheese to loosen. Add half of a container of whipped topping, almond extract, salt and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
Fill each sponge cake with cheese mixture. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine reserved apricot syrup and brandy, reduce until thick. Add apricot halves. Spoon apricot mixture over each sponge cake. Garnish with remaining whipped topping and toasted almond slivers.
NOTE: If sponge cakes are not available, use sliced pound cake.