White Chocolate Fennel Truffles

By • March 19, 2013 • 11 Comments


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Author Notes: Ever since trying a fennel-flavored milk reduction that was paired with a thick, rich chocolate pudding at a supper club a few months ago, I have been obsessed with adding fennel to sweet dishes, and these little truffles might be my favorite recipe so far.

Adding fennel to chocolate is an unusual combination, but it totally works. The subtle spice combined with the sea salt flakes cuts through the richness of the white chocolate ganache and makes this a lovely grown-up after-dinner treat.
Sophia R

Food52 Review: The magic starts with the toasting of the fennel seeds, which smell at first like brown sugar, then butterscotch, then toast, then toasted nuts. Infusing the crushed seeds in the cream brings out that telltale licorice flavor, and the finished bite is a flavor ride through the bitter cocoa, sweet white chocolate, and crunchy salt (I used Maldon in about half the amount, which was plenty for me). Fennel-seed lovers will be thrilled with these; everyone else will be converted. vvvanessa

Makes 15 to 20 truffles, depending on size

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  1. Start by toasting the fennel seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Crush in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Gently heat the cream together with the crushed fennel seeds. Once the cream starts steaming, turn off the heat and let the cream infuse for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the fennel seeds.
  3. Re-heat the cream until just below the boiling point and pour over the chopped white chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate is melted. Let cream cool until it is thick enough to shape truffles (you can place it in the fridge for a few hours if you want to speed up the process).
  4. Grab teaspoon-sized chunks of the ganache and roll into rough balls. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the truffles and roll in the cocoa powder. Finish with a single sea salt crystal.
  5. The truffles should keep for 1 week if kept in the fridge. If not serving right away, re-dust with coca powder just before serving.

Comments (11) Questions (0)

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20 days ago Yoko Feinman

If you like this combo, get this! My friend's father owns an ice cream shop in Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. He has some amazingly creative flavors, of which Cardamom & Almond is my favorite. It was such an unexpected surprise to enjoy cardamom in a sweet and cool ice cream but it's the tits. A nod to Indian desserts. I'm sure it has a home in other sweet treats too.

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about 1 month ago Cassie Noll

where is a good online source for white chocolate that's gluten free?

Sophia

about 1 month ago Sophia R

Unfortunately I don't - I did not even realize there was such a thing as gluten-free white chocolate. I would try buying it online or at a well-stocked health-food store like Whole Foods. Have a look at the glutenfreegirl blog as well - she might know some stockists. Good luck!

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8 months ago isthatafishinyourear

Followed this recipe exactly but could not for the life of me get these to set. NOt sure what went wrong.

Sophia

8 months ago Sophia R

Sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe. Even if your kitchen is very hot once you place the truffle mixture in the fridge it should eventually firm up enough to allow you to shape your truffles (and if your kitchen is really hot I would keep the truffles in the fridge until you want yo eat them). Did you place the mixture in the fridge to firm up or did you leave it at room temperature?

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8 months ago isthatafishinyourear

I placed them in the fridge after about fifteen minutes, seeing that they weren't making progress. I left the mixture in there for about three hours in the hope that it would be firm enough to form into balls, but it wasn't. It was winter in Australian when I tried making them, so I can't imagine it was due to the heat in my kitchen. I did pass the mixture through a very fine sieve to get the crushed fennel seeds out, perhaps that had something to do with making it too sloppy?

Sophia

7 months ago Sophia R

Hm, the only other thing I can suggest is to reduce the amount of cream you used, maybe start with 1/4 cup and see whether the truffles will firm up?

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about 1 year ago QuasiSiciliana

Oh. Sweet. Lord. YES. These sound amazing ...

Sophia

about 1 year ago Sophia R

Thank you! They are absolutely delicious (and very easy to make as well). Let me know if you try them!

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about 1 year ago QuasiSiciliana

I did, indeed, try them and they are, indeed, both easy and delicious. A well-deserved Community Pick. They even won over a fennel-sceptic and a white chocolate-hater, so they *must* be good!

Sophia

about 1 year ago Sophia R

Thank you so much for your comment QuasiSiciliana - that just made my day! And the fact that they even convinced both fennel-sceptics and white chocolate-haters, well I don't think I could ask for better feedback than this!