Place dried cherries in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let steep for 5 minutes or until cherries soften and plump up. Drain, squeezing out excess water. Chop the cherries into small pieces and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt onto a piece of parchment paper and set aside.
Combine the lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar becomes moist and yellow. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, for about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the lemon sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy or for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix for about 1 minute after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the sifted flour mixture to the bowl in three batches, blending each until just mixed in and scraping the sides as needed. With the last batch of flour, also add the chopped cherries and incorporate, taking care not to over mix.
Using a large cookie scoop or spoon, add the batter into the wells of the prepared pan.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean.
As the cakes are baking, prepare the syrup glaze. Add the lemon juice and zest, water, sugar, almond extract, sprig of rosemary and butter. Heat over low heat just until the sugar dissolves then raise the heat to medium and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and let the glaze cool completely.
When the cakes are ready to come out of the oven, transfer the pan to a cooling rack to rest upright in the pan for about 10 minutes, then gently tap the pan to loosen the cakes. Carefully pop the cakes out of the pan. While they cakes are still warm, brush them with the syrup.
After they are completely cool, drizzle cakes with the glaze, dividing the glaze evenly among the cakes. Dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired.
adapted from Williams-Sonoma catalog
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