Panna cotta (in Italian - “cooked cream”) is a chilled dessert of cream molded with gelatin.
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream
Set 12 custard cups on a tray. Pour the milk into a saucepan. Sprinkle with the gelatin, set aside for 10 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a Dutch oven with ice cubes. Add cold water to cover.
Cook the milk over a medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is warm but not boiling. Remove from the heat and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk to dissolve. Gradually add the cream, whisking constantly.
Set the bowl carefully into the Dutch oven. Add slightly more cold water, if needed, to the pan to bring the water up to the level of the mixture in the bowl. Allow to sit, whisking occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until thickened to the consistency of melted ice cream.
Ladle the mixture into the cups. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until set.
Caramel: In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the water and syrup to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and stir to moisten thoroughly. Cook, without stirring, for about 15 minutes, or until amber-colored. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, microwave the cream in a glass measuring cup for 2 minutes, or until steaming. With oven mitts on both hands, gradually add the cream to the pan, whisking constantly. There will be considerable bubbling and steam. When the foam subsides, return the pan to low heat. Cook, whisking, for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is the color of caramel. Remove and pour into a heatproof bowl. Cool. Cover and refrigerate.
To serve Panna Cotta: Bring 1/2″ of water to a simmer in a small skillet. Run a knife blade around the inside of the cups to loosen the panna cotta. One at a time, dip the bottom of the cup into the water. Bring the dessert plate to the edge of the cup. Gently shake the panna cotta onto the plate. Drizzle with caramel sauce.