French for ‘cat’s tongues’, these delicate biscuits may be served with ice cream, sorbet or as a light biscuit with tea or coffee. The biscuits are piped into finger-like shapes onto baking trays or cooked in special trays with shallow indentations in it. Langues de chat are sometimes called ‘lady fingers’, but these are usually fatter and more spongy.

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Ingredients

  • 75 g ( oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 80 g ( oz/ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 75 g ( oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a small bowl with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg whites in another small bowl with a fork until frothy, then gradually add to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Lightly fold in the sifted flour and a pinch of salt until well combined.
  3. To make even-sized langues de chat, draw with a pencil 8 cm (3 inch) lines at intervals on the baking paper. Turn the paper over. Use the lines as a guide to pipe the mixture, leaving a space for expansion. You will be able to fit about 12 biscuits per tray. If your trays are small, cook them in batches. Spoon the mixture into a piping (icing) bag fitted with a 1 cm (½ inch) plain tube, and pipe 8 cm (3 inch) lengths onto the trays. Transfer to the oven and bake for 6–7 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly brown around the edges. Cool on the trays for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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