3 cups white sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons butter
1/2-1 teaspoon almond extract
Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in heavy sauce pan. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil. Wash sugar crystals down from sides of pan by placing a lid on pan and allow steam to wash sides of pan.
Without stirring, cook to softball stage, approximately 230-238 F, or when a small amount of candy dropped into cold water may be shaped with fingers into a soft ball and picked up.
Pour candy out on a buttered marble slab or large baking pan with sides (a 9×13 pan also works well). Do not scrape candy from pan. Place extract on candy. Cool to lukewarm.
Beat fondant until it sets up. Scrape fondant from surface and knead until it is smooth. Wrap fondant in plastic wrap or place in airtight container; set aside and allow to ‘ripen’ at room temperature for at least 24-48 hours.
Break fondant into smaller pieces, place in top of double boiler and slowly melt fondant, stirring occasionally. Drain cherries well. Dip cherries in melted fondant and place on wax paper to cool and harden. (Note: if fondant becomes too stiff, thin with a little cherry juice.)
Break chocolate into pieces and place in top of double boiler. Bottom of double boiler should have approximately 1 inch of water (be sure water does not touch bottom of top pan). Do not allow water to boil. Slowly melt chocolate. When all but a few lumps of remaining chocolate have melted, remove pan from heat and stir chocolate until all is melted. Dip fondant covered cherries in chocolate, place on wax paper to cool. Allow cherries to stand at room temperature for 1-2 weeks to allow fondant to melt inside chocolate shell.