A few weeks ago I was having a leisurely mooch in TK Maxx’s kitchen and homeware department when I came across this interesting baking tray that was priced at £1. I couldn’t resist that bargain because I could think of a number of uses for it, so I bought it and brought it home.
I didn’t know what the baking tray was intended for, but I’m a member of a great Facebook group called The Cook’s Community Forum so I posted a photo of the baking tray up in the group and asked if anyone knew what its true purpose was. I couldn’t believe the number of responses it got, with over 90 people chiming in with their opinions! Quite a few said it was for baking eclairs, but the vast majority (most of whom tended to be professional chefs) said it was for making French Langues de Chat biscuits, aka Cat’s Tongue biscuits.
Although the name might not sound particularly appetising let me firmly assure you that the biscuits themselves most certainly are! Langues de chat biscuits are soft egg and butter based bakes that fall somewhere in the middle between a sponge and a biscuit. They’re very light and go wonderfully with a cuppa.
Langues de chat biscuits take no time at all to make and they bake very fast too, so they’re ideal for creating in a hurry. You might not want to go to the expense of buying a Langues de Chat biscuit mould (you could use any shaped baking tray you fancied really), but I’d really recommend it because it ensures that your bakes come out in the perfect shape. You could also dip each end in melted chocolate if you would like to make them fancier, but whether you serve them plain or decorated, they’re a delicious treat.
250g unsalted butter
8 egg whites
350g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 180°C/170°C Fan/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and flour your Langues de Chat mould.
Measure your butter, sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl and, using an electric whisk, cream it together until it is pale and fluffy.
Add the flour and mix again.
Whisk your egg whites in a jug until they are firm and then fold the egg whites into the biscuit mixture.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the mixture into your moulds. (I use disposable piping bags and it makes life a lot easier!) If you’re just using a baking tray, line it with greaseproof paper or a silicone mat and pipe 7cm strips of the biscuit mixture onto the tray, leaving a generous gap between each because they will spread.
Bake the langues de chat in the oven for about 10 mins or until the biscuits are just lightly golden brown. Leave to cool and then serve.