French Queen Marie Leszczynska, the wife of Louis XV, is credited with the idea behind these savoury ‘mouthfuls’ in the hopes of winning back her husband from Mme de Pompadour, who was causing a sensation in court with her sweet puits d’amour in vol-au-vent pastry cases. The queen wanted an aphrodisiac to win back her man.
The classic recipe asks for chicken cooked in bouillon with vegetables, then minced and combined with mushrooms in a thick béchamel sauce with Reisling and cream. Other versions use veal quenelles, sweetbreads etc, all in a thick sauce that neither leaks out nor sogs up the pastry.
The ready-made cases are available in the shops; small ones are usually called mini-bouchées.
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