Special equipment: 6 (6-ounce) serving dishes.
In a small bowl, submerse the gelatin sheets in cool water to soften.
In a small saucepan combine the cream and 1 cup sugar. Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds. Add the seeds and the hull of the vanilla bean to the saucepan. Whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and turn off immediately. Remove the softened gelatin sheets from the cool water and whisk into the hot cream mixture. Remove and discard the vanilla bean. Pour immediately into serving dishes and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the figs together with the remaining sugar and balsamic. Let macerate for about 15 minutes. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the figs are soft and the sugar and balsamic have started to caramelize on the figs.
Top the panna cotta with the roasted figs.
Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell