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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Langues du Chat Biscuits

Langues du Chat Biscuits with a Lemon Posset

Langues du Chat.  I fell in love with this biscuit even before I made it.  Langues du Chat.  It's such a great name.  And although I dropped French (and German for that matter) whilst taking my 'options' at school, I can inform you that Langues du Chat translates as cat's tongue.  The reason is evident, it's simply because of the shape of the biscuit. To name a biscuit 'cat's tongue' just wouldn't sound quite right in English, but in French it sounds wonderful.  Langues du Chat.



Langues du Chat Biscuits
Langues du Chat Biscuits
I may have mentioned once or twice already that I love cats.  All cats.  Big and small.  Black or White, Tabby or mitted.  They are so loving and give great company.  That wild side is never far away; with the shake of a whisker they are off.  As I type this, our feline friend is curled up at my side depositing fur as I pet him (note to self, I need to brush him today).  Mr E often refers to him as my shadow.  He just follows me around everywhere I go.  Yup, he'd follow me there as well if I allowed him!


Our feline friend
So to all those cat lovers out there, you must make Langues du Chat. And for those who aren't as keen on cats as we are, just make some biscuits in an oblong shape ;)  Doesn't have the same ring to it does it?

I mentioned these biscuits alongside the lemon posset I posted the other day.  They made a great accompaniment to it.  Though if you don't fancy making the lemon posset as well, they are also just as great with a good cup of cha.  Any cha.  But do make your favourite cha.

Now, there does seem to be quite a few subtle variations of this recipe (isn't there always), but after all the biscuit, as we've already discovered, is primarily concerned with the shape.  Though there is nothing stopping you making them round.  The recipe I used comes from 'A Year of Family Recipes' by Lesley Wild, Betty's Cookery School.  It's a lovely book, focussing on seasonality, very much as the Betty Tearooms do. My parents very kindly bought it for me at Betty's Tearoom in York because they know how much I enjoy going there.  I've not adjusted the recipe ingredients because it's lovely as it is.


Langues du Chat Biscuits
Clockwise from top left: Beaten egg whites; egg whites folded into dry ingredients; 
mixture in a disposable piping bag; Langues du Chat biscuits.
A few side notes for you now,  they clearly aren't suitable for those with nut allergies due to the ground almonds (obvious, but I felt I needed to mention that).  And if you haven't got a piping bag but fancy making the classic shape, you can get disposable ones cheaply from supermarkets, have a look here.  For this recipe, you don't need any nozzle attachments. I find filling a piping bag much easier when it's resting in a large drinking vessel (as above image).
With the remaining egg yolks, why not add it to a frittata or omelette mixture.  Or even to the pasta recipe 'Pasticcio with Spinach & Feta', which is seriously yummy. 

Langues du Chat Biscuits      Yum
Volume: approx. 24 biscuits
Cost: £1.35.  That's 5.6p each
Freezable: Sorry, not tried.
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 15 minutes; plus baking time of approx. 17 minutes.
Recipe from: 'A year of Family Recipes' by Lesley Wild.

You will need
3 egg whites
80g ground almonds
80g caster sugar
2 tsp plain flour.

How to make them
1.  Preheat the oven to 150c / Fan 140c / Gas 2

2.  Line a large baking tray with grease proof paper by dabbing small bits of margarine in the corners of the tray and laying the paper on top. (This will just stop the paper billowing around).

3.  Place the dry ingredients into a large bowl, and give them a mix to breakdown any clumps of ground almonds.

4.  In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites.  Make sure the bowl and whisk are scrupulously clean, any residue of fat will prevent the egg whites becoming 'meringue' like.  You can use a stand mixer, hand held electric whisk or a balloon whisk for this.  I used a balloon whisk to save on washing up!  It took me only 3 or 4 minutes.  You're aiming for the egg whites to have doubled in volume and be firm.  They won't be shiny like a meringue (because no sugar has been added).

5.  Tip the egg whites gently into the dry ingredient.  Using a spatula or metal spoon, fold the egg whites in gently

6. Place the mixture into a piping bag.  Snip the end off the bag (if using disposable ones) and then pipe your cat's tongues onto the lined tray.  Aim for about 7cm in length.  Alternatively you could use a spoon to drop circles of the mixture onto the greased tray. Remember to leave sufficient space around each biscuit to allow for expansion.

7. Bake the biscuits for about 17 minutes until firm and lightly golden.  You may need to rotate the tray 2/3 of the way through cooking.

8. Once cooled, remove from the tray and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Bon appetite


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2 comments:

  1. Well these are adorable! And these are actually as long as Bella's tongue, I'm sure she has the longest cat tongue in the world! Sadly that's not an actual world record (I did look it up!)

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    Replies
    1. Ha-ha! How on earth did Norris Macwerta (the guiness world record man - if you remember him) manage to actually measure a cat's tongue! I just have an image in my head of a cat politely sitting with his/her tongue stuck out whilst someone measures it with a tape measure! Ha-ha. I know that wouldn't happen with any of the cats I've ever known :)
      Thanks for commenting Kerry
      Angela x

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