They only take 25 minutes to make, but your friends and family will be talking about this Italian dessert for weeks!
3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
1 cup caster sugar
1 ½ cups thickened cream
1 ½ cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Lightly spray eight dariole moulds (½-cup capacity) with cooking oil.
Sprinkle gelatine over 2 tablespoons water in a small heatproof jug. Sit jug in a small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until gelatine is dissolved. Remove jug.
Meanwhile, place ½ cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan with cream, milk and vanilla. Stir over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot (do not boil). Strain through a sieve into a large heatproof jug. Stir in hot gelatine mixture.
Pour evenly into prepared moulds. Place on a tray. Refrigerate, covered, overnight until set.
To make toffee syrup, place remaining sugar and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan. Gently stir over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil. Gently boil for about 10 minutes, or until golden.
Remove pan from heat. Allow bubbles to subside. Slowly add an extra ¼ cup water, being careful as toffee with splatter. Return pan to a low heat. Stir until syrup is smooth. Transfer to a small heatproof jug. Cool.
Just before serving, use your fingertips to loosen panna cotta around inside edge of moulds. Turn onto serving plates. Serve with toffee syrup.
TIP! Dariole moulds are available from specialty kitchen shops. Panna cotta and toffee syrup can be made up to two days ahead. Keep syrup, covered, at room temperature.