Recipe: Langues du chat

Langues du chat (cat tongues) are a delicate shortbread biscuit, named so because of their flat, rounded shape. As far as biscuits go, these ones are pretty special. Light, crisp and gently sweet, they are a far-cry from chunky choc cip cookies or chewy anzacs.

My inspiration to make these came from Danny on the Great British Bake Off. She made her version of langues du chat in the petit four challenge of the second last episode in the series. She flavoured hers with orange, and dipped them in cardamom-flavoured white chocolate.

I also spotted them a few weeks ago on a visit to The Cheese Shop in Nottingham – these are the imported from France version and apparently very yummy.

Danny in action on the GBBO

I decided to try and replicate her take on this French recipe, but decided to dip them in plain white chocolate instead, as I didn’t want them overpowered by the cardamom flavour.

White chocoalate and orange langues du chat

Ingredients:

  • 125gm softened butter
  • 125gm sifted icing sugar
  • 25gm ground almonds
  • 3 egg whites
  • 165gm sifted plain flour
  • 2 small oranges (or 1 large one), zest only
  • 200gm white chocolate

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 170C.
  • Using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the soft butter until light and fluffy. Then beat in 100gm of the icing sugar for one minute.
  • Add the ground almonds and remaining icing sugar to the mix and beat until just combined.
  • Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing between each addition.
  • Use a metal spoon to lightly mix in the plain flour and orange zest.
  • Leave the mixture to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Now for the slightly trickier bit – use a ruler and pencil to mark out 7cm lines, 3cm apart, on a piece of baking paper. These will act as a guide for the piped biscuits. Turn the paper over on your oven sheet, and you should still be able to see the lines to guide you (Note: I was worried the lines looked too close together, but the biscuits don’t spread that much, so it worked fine).
  • Fit a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle and fill the bag with the rested biscuit mix.
  • Steadily pipe out the biscuits onto the greaseproof paper – try and keep them uniform.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown, and the edges are gently colouring, then remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for two minutes.
  • Lift each biscuit off with a palette life and leave to cool on a wire rack. The biscuits will crisp and harden as they cool.
  • Repeat this until all of the mix is used.
  • Once the biscuits are cool, melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, and dip each biscuit into it. I dipped mine about a third of the way in, but half way up would be even better I think.
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea.

Danny’s langues du chat

I was pretty happy with my biscuits, and they were eaten-up quickly. I remembered to take a photo just in time, but these were slightly less uniform than the best ones of the batch.

My version… langues du chat

I was also accused of them being slightly man-like in appearance. I can assure you, this was not intentional!

Happy baking