Vanilla and bitter caramel panna cotta
5 sheets silver gelatine
150ml cold milk
1litre whipping cream
150g icing sugar
2 vanilla pods, slit in half lengthways, seeds scraped out 350g caster sugar 6 ramekins, each 10cm diameter and 8cm deep
To make the panna cotta, soak the gelatine in the cold milk for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the cream in a non-stick pan, add the icing sugar and vanilla seeds and gently bring up to a simmer, then take off the heat. Add the gelatine, pouring in the cold milk first, then the soaked sheets. Whisk until the gelatine dissolves. Chill in the fridge until just starting to thicken
(about 45 minutes).
While the panna cotta is in the fridge, make your caramel. Put the caster sugar in a non-stick pan and, over a low to medium heat, start melting it, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Be very careful of the smoke and open your windows. Set out 6 ramekins and, when the sugar turns to a dark brown caramel (10-15 minutes), pour about 1cm into each ramekin and allow to firm up.
Whisk the panna cotta mixture and pour to just below the rim of the ramekins. Leave to set in the fridge overnight.
To serve, loosen the panna cotta seal with the tip of a sharp knife, dip the ramekins halfway into a bowl of very hot water for 7 seconds, and turn out on to cold plates.