I've mentioned cooking club in earlier posts and promised to reveal more later. So, with this post I'm fulfilling my pledge. I've wanted to form some kind of a cooking club for a very long time. Finally, earlier this year, my vision came to life in the form of the Halal Gourmet Cooking Club. I structured the club in such a way that we meet socially every six weeks to celebrate some kind of unique culinary experience. We meet at a different members' home each time and this person hosting is charged ahead of time with selecting a theme and designing the menu. Participants receive a copy of the complete menu from the hostess a few weeks prior to the actual soiree and each is assigned a course to test, create, and adapt so that it meets strict Islamic halal standards. Not only does this allow each member the fun opportunity to plan an exotic menu but along the way everyone gets a chance to delve into the new cooking experiences that come with each meeting's theme.
The theme for our last meeting was "Spring Dishes with an Italian Flair." The five-course dinner was wonderful and included roasted vegetables antipasto, homemade pasta, lamb chops and peach mascarpone tart just to mention a few of the delicious dishes prepared by fellow Halal Mamas and Halal Gourmet Cooking Clubbers. My assigned dish was lemon gelato. I actually made a very simple, light and lemony ice cream served on tuile cups. If you love citric desserts this is one you will want to try, and the extremely easy to make tuile cups definitely add a special touch.
Super Lemon Ice Cream
Zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup of sugar
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
2 cups half-and-half
Pinch of Salt
Zest the lemons into a food processor. Add the sugar and blend until the lemon zest is very fine. Add lemon juice and blend until the sugar is dissolved. Blend in the half-and-half and salt until smooth.
Chill for at least one hour, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
4 Tbsp butter
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp alcohol free vanilla extract
6 Tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside four overturned teacups or custard cups.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan with the corn syrup and brown sugar. Stir in the vanilla extract and flour.
Drop the batter by scant tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets, spacing about four inches apart. Using a small off-set spatula, spread each into a 2-inch round. Bake for about 10 minutes or until they are deep golden brown. Working quickly with a wide metal spatula, lift one tuile from the sheet. Immediately place over an inverted teacup or custard cup. Quickly press tuile around the custard cup. Repeat with remaining tuiles, one at a time. Cool until set.
Make ahead: I stored mine overnight in reclosable food storage bags and they were fine the next day.