unsalted butter for preparing the bowl or ramekins
2 pkgs unflavored gelatin
2 cups half and half
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Butter soufle type bowl or 8 ramekins. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the half and half with the gelatin, mix well and set aside until the milk absorbs the gelatin. In a large saucepan combine the remaining half and half, sugar, cream and the vanilla bean. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. When it comes to a slight boil remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture and the vanilla extract, whisk to dissolve the gelatin grains, mix well. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Ladle the mixture into the ramekins or pour into a larger bowl, and cover with plastic film. Place in refrigerator for at least 5 hours, or until set. To serve, run a knife along the inside of the bowl, dip the bottom of the bowls into a bowl of hot water and invert onto a plate. Serve plain or with soft fruit such as blueberries or strawberries.