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Put the sugar and 150ml water in a pan, bring to the boil, then reduce by half, but don’t let it caramelise – remove swiftly from the heat if this begins to happen.
Add the fennel and chilli to the sugar along with the nuts and 1½ tsp sea salt, stirring quickly to crystallise the sugar. Scrape the nuts out of the pan and on to a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment. Leave to cool.