1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
Stir the flour and salt into a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the water and butter over moderate heat, then bring to a boil and remove from the heat immediately. As soon as you remove the pan from the heat, add the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon for several seconds, or until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Beat over low heat for about 30 to 45 seconds, or until the mixture becomes dry.
Beat one of the eggs in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining eggs, one at a time. Beat them into the dough until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in enough of the egg to make the dough shiny, with a consistency that will let it just fall from the spoon. You can reserve the dough, refrigerated for up to 4 hours, though it puffs better if used immediately.
To bake, butter a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the pastry dough into a pastry bag and drop 1-inch mounds well apart on the baking sheet or shape the pastry with 2 spoons until round. Brush the tops of the mounds with beaten egg. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until firm and nicely browned.
Transfer to a rack and split each one to release steam.
To fill, make Pastry Cream, let cool, then spoon into the puffs (may use instant puddings).
Just before serving, arrange the puffs in a dessert platter and top with chocolate sauce.
Makes 12 (3-inch) cream puffs.
1 cup milk, scalded
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and light colored. Add the flour and whisk in the boiled milk. Stir constantly over gentle heat with the whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add the vanilla extract and 1/2 tablespoon butter, stirring until the butter melts. Cover with a piece of buttered wax paper until ready to use.
Makes enough for 12 cream puff fillings.