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
- 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.