1 cup water
½ cup butter/margarine
Pinch of salt
1 cup flour
Ingredients For Filling
1 packet instant vanilla pudding
400 ml (13 fl oz) whipping cream/non-dairy whipping cream (one and a half small containers)
Ingredients For Topping
150 g (5 oz) bitter sweet chocolate chopped
2 tablespoons butter/margarine
How to do it
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)
2. In a medium-sized saucepan, add the water, butter and salt and bring to the boil. Add the flour all at once and stir quickly until the mixture forms a ball. This will happen very quickly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added. This will take a little muscle power and on the way the dough looks like it is separating, but keep going. By the last egg you will have a beautiful, smooth, unified dough.
3. Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and spray it with non-stick spray. Drop tablespoons of dough on the tray keeping about 3 cm (1 inch) between each. You should get about 16-18 out of one recipe. To make eclairs, place the dough into a piping bag with a round tip (about a 1 cm opening) and pipe 8 cm (3 inch) strips onto the sheet about 6 cm (2 inches) apart.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the puffs are golden brown. Allow to cool completely before filling them.
5. For filling: With a sharp small knife, make small 2 cm (1 inch) slits in each puff (I do it towards the bottom) partially whip the cream till barely very soft peaks (do not whip it stiffly as the vanilla pudding will set the cream) Add the vanilla pudding powder and mix till all combined. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Place the vanilla cream in a piping bag into which you’ve inserted a medium sized nozzle. Pipe about 1 tablespoon of cream into each puff. For eclairs, split the puffs in half before filling.
6. For chocolate topping: Melt chocolate and butter/margarine over low heat in a small saucepan until melted. Remove from heat and spread about 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate over each puff.