Sunday 18 October 2015

Langue de chat biscuit

Yes it means cat's tongue in French. No, I've no idea why. Maybe their cats were different back then, with stiff, yellow tongues. Maybe feline jaundice was a thing during the revolution? Anyway, they have an elegance that belies their simplicity. 

No. Wait. That's the kind of sentence that makes my finger hover over the delete key. Sigh. Can biscuits be 'elegant'? I know people describe them that way, but... really? They are crisp, brittle, buttery and delicious but 'elegant' says more about the aspiration of the cook than it does the baked fat/flour mix surely?

I've used Gordon Ramsay's recipe, as I have for nearly two decades. Other recipes call for the whole egg. No idea why. Using just the white gives you a delicate crunch.

Langue de chat biscuits.
Makes about 25 of the ones pictured above or 15 of the ones shown below.

With a fork, beat two egg whites until frothy. Using a food processor, a mixer or a wooden spoon (good luck) beat together 100g of caster sugar and 60g unsalted butter until pale and fluffy. Add in some vanilla. This could be the seeds of a pod, a teaspoon of paste or half that of extract. Now beat in the egg white. Lastly, gently stir in 70g of plain flour, stopping as soon as the flour is incorporated.

Spoon or pipe the mix into lines - usually straight but you can make any shape you want. You'll need baking paper or silicon on your baking sheet. These will double in width, so leave room. Bake for 12 minutes at 160°C. You're looking for a golden biscuit edged with brown. You can shape them while warm if you like, over a jar or something.

These are excellent with chocolate mousse, ice creams or just coffee. For more flavour, add a little finely chopped orange and/or lemon zest to the batter before baking.


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