How to Make It
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise and bring to a boil. Simmer the spiced sugar syrup over moderate heat for 15 minutes.
Discard the cinnamon stick and star anise. Off the heat, stir in the brandy and prunes. Let the brandied prunes stand at room temperature until they plump, at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
Just before serving, rewarm the prunes. Serve in bowls over spoonfuls of crème fraîche or ice cream.