One of my most surprising recipes I created for the show was the famous "meatball sugar" Maple Fennel crème brûlée. It's pretty funny how I came up with this recipe in the kitchen... I had my bottle of vanilla extract in one hand and start grabbing spices with my other hand throughout my pantry.
I first grabbed honey since I love the taste of vanilla and honey.. but that felt expected. Then I grabbed my maple syrup. I knew I had to include it somehow. Then I went through my savory spices and started to smell the vanilla, maple and spice combos. Black pepper... gross. Thyme... not quite right. Fennel! Wow!
I took a little dollop of maple syrup and fennel then realized I was onto something! The deep flavor of the maple syrup and the earthiness and spice from the fennel was actually DELICIOUS. Don't knock it till you try it! ;) I then knew with vanilla it would create a great combination that reminds me of camping and being out in the woods.
Here's where you can grab the recipe! ABC website