Vanilla panna cotta
( SERVES 6 )
- Lightly oil 6 x 180ml-capacity moulds or small teacups. Place milk, sugar and 2 cups of measured cream in a saucepan. With the tip of a sharp knife, scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean. Add the bean and the seeds to the pan and bring just to the boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Set aside for flavours to infuse for 15 minutes, then strain mixture to remove vanilla bean. Dissolve gelatine powder in ¼ cup water in a small ramekin, then heat ramekin in a microwave or double boiler until the gelatine is liquid. Whisk gelatine into hot cream mixture until incorporated. Set mixture aside to cool.
- Lightly whip remaining cream and fold into cooled mixture. Pour mixture into prepared moulds. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight to set.
- To serve, dip moulds in boiling water for a few seconds, then invert on to plates and shake to turn out.
Tip: Panna cotta literally translates as "cooked cream". For best results, after un-moulding, leave panna cottas to come to room temperature before serving, as this removes the fridge-cold solid consistency and makes them soft and creamy to eat.