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
Test Kitchen Notes
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
Start by toasting the fennel seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Crush in a pestle and mortar.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Hi, my name is Sophia and I have a passion (ok, maybe it is veering towards an obsession) for food and all things food-related: I read cookbooks for entertainment and sightseeing for me invariably includes walking up and down foreign supermarket aisles. I love to cook and bake but definitely play around more with sweet ingredients.
Current obsessions include all things fennel (I hope there is no cure), substituting butter in recipes with browned butter, baking with olive oil, toasted rice ice cream, seeing whether there is anything that could be ruined by adding a few flakes of sea salt and, most recently, trying to bridge the gap between German, English and Italian Christmas baking – would it be wrong to make a minced meat filled Crostata?