Bring (liberally) salted water to a boil with 1 clove; 1 bay leaf; 1 cinnamon stick. While water is coming to a boil, peel and quarter (3-4) red potatoes. Boil potatoes until tender to the point where a knife slides in and out of potato without resistance
Heat butter over med-high heat. Add sliced onions, stir occasionally to prevent burning. When onions start to brown and go limp, lower the heat while continuing to stir
While potatoes are boiling and onions are caramelizing, gently heat a small saucepan of cream.When hot, remove from heat and add thyme and star anise, let steep (as if you're making hot tea. While steeping, set up a double boiler or bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer and place a metal bowl over the saucepan. Break up some white chocolate pieces and add to the metal bowl, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted. (tempering)
Stir steeped warm cream into melted white chocolate until fully incorporated. Add salt and white pepper, stir to combine
Drain potatoes when tender, return to warm saucepan. Add butter, salt, and cream/white chocolate mixture to potatoes while mashing until fully incorporated. Grate fresh nutmeg and stir to combine. Add caramelized onions. The End.