from Susan branch comes this terrific recipe for chocolate cream puff eclairs. i made these bite sized, but they could be made larger. this recipe made 14 small puffs or could make about half that many large size puffs. i am certain the baking time would need to be adjusted for that change.
to make the cream puffs: preheat the oven to 375 degrees. boil 1/2 cup water with 1/4 cup butter in a sauce pot. remove from the heat and stir into the liquid, 1/2 cup flour. i used a wooden spoon. stir quickly to form a ball. cool this dough about 5-10 minutes.
next, add two ROOM TEMPERATURE eggs. beat them into the dough until the dough is very smooth. spray a sheet pan with baking spray. by using a small cookie scoop, i made 14 small puffs. bake in the oven for 16 minutes, remove and place a small cut into the side of each puff. return to the oven. TURN OFF THE OVEN. bake for 10 more minutes.
cool the puffs, open them up to dry out. when ready to serve, fill with chilled whipped cream or ice cream and top with melted chocolate.
for the whipped cream: i chilled a stainless bowl with my hand mixer beaters in the refrigerator for over one hour. i mixed 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and a splash of almond extract. i whipped until stiff peaks formed. then, i chilled the cream.
for the chocolate sauce: i used 3 ounces of scharffen berger extra rich milk fine artisan chocolate melted over a double boiler and added 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot. this sauce thickens as it cools, so it is perfect for the cream puff topping.
about 1/2 hour before dinner, i added the whipped cream and frosted the puffs. i kept them in the refrigerator until ready to serve. this is a super tasty dessert, topping with some powdered sugar for that special someone.