Place ¼ cup of cold milk in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface and stir well. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to soften and bloom.
Cut the vanilla bean in half and with the back of the knife or a teaspoon scrap out the seeds.
Put the vanilla bean and scraped seeds into a medium saucepan with cream, remaining milk, sugar and salt. Heat until just before boiling point. A few bubbles will start forming around the edges of the saucepan, steam will rise and the sugar should be dissolved. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
Stir the bloomed gelatin into the cream/milk and immediately whisk until smooth and dissolved. If the gelatin hasn’t fully dissolved, return the saucepan to the stove and heat gently over low heat. Stir constantly and don’t let the mixture boil.
Strain into a 1 litre jug to remove the vanilla and any pieces that may have broken off. Then pour cream/milk mixture into 8 individual serving glasses.
Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours, or until completely set.
Serve with fruit and chopped nuts.
Tips for success
Be sure to add the gelatin to cold milk. The gelatin will bloom and become really thick.
Heat cream/milk mixture gently over low to medium heat. This is not meant to boil.
Stir the bloomed gelatin into the cream/milk mixture OFF the heat. Don't boil gelatin because it will lose it's setting properties.
Pouring from a jug will ensure serving glasses remain clean of spills.
After pouring panna cotta mixture into serving glasses, cover with plastic wrap and carefully place in the refrigerator to set.