Edited 6/26/2010: So, we made this for dessert several nights ago and substituted half and half for all of the cream. I had never tried it with straight cream, but it was DIVINE with the half and half. My mom said she couldn't really tell the difference. So, you could save yourself a couple calories and make it with half and half instead. All I'm going to add is that you must try it... it is so delicious.
1/3 c. Skim Milk
1 (.25 oz) Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
2 1/2 c. Heavy Cream (Consider substituting in some half and half for some of the cream)
1/2 c. White Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1. Pour milk into a small bowl, and stir in the gelatin powder. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, stir together the heavy cream and sugar, and set over medium heat. Bring to a full boil, watching carefully, (and stirring frequently) as the cream will quickly rise to the top of the pan. Pour the gelatin and milk into the cream, stirring until completely dissolved. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and pour into six or seven individual ramekin dishes. (About 1/2 c. in each dish)
4. Cool the ramekins uncovered at room temperature. When cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight before serving.
You could do just berries, a chocolate sauce, or canned or fresh fruit, however, my preference for the topping is this:
1 sm. bag frozen mixed berries, thawed
1/4 of a danish dessert (this is like jell-o but doesn't set as stiff as jell-o...and it tastes better, I find mine at WinCo)
1/4 c. juice
1. Cook and mash the berries in saucepan, bring to a boil.
2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the danish dessert powder in cold juice.
3. Add to boiling berries and cook 1 min. Cool and spoon over chilled panna cotta