Bouchées were reputedly created for and made fashionable by Marie Leczinska, Queen of France and wife of Louis XV. There are many different kinds of bouchée dishes, but the one named for her is what is found in the dish called “Bouchées à la Reine.”
Bouchées salées are very small, round puff-pastry shells, which Larousse defines as “small, individual vol-au-vent” shells. They can have a lid or no lid.
They are served hot with a dollop of a savoury mixture in them. Sometimes the mixture is in a sauce.
Bouchées sucrées are made from small, hollowed-out sponge cakes. They are filled with pastry cream or jam, then two of them are put together in a sandwich-like fashion, then iced.
The pastry cream may be flavoured; the icing may be both flavoured and coloured.
“Bouchée” means “mouthful.” Compare with the use of “boca” (meaning “mouth”) in Spanish, in countries such as Costa Rica, to mean “appetizer.”