1Keep in mind that Choux Paste can be temperamental. I find making the shells on a day without humidity, helps to make them the best. Be careful NOT to burn the paste as you add flour in the next step.
2To begin, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a saucepan melt 1/2 c butter, add salt and water. Bring to a boil. Immediately put heat to low, I even raise the pan off unit if seems too hot. Add flour and beat with a wooden spoon to form a soft ball of dough. Cool away from heat for 1 minute. Add eggs, ONE AT A TIME, beating into the dough. May seem lumpy but keep beating until a smooth creamy paste results.
3Grease a large cookie sheet lightly, and drop 1/4 c of paste 1-2" apart. Cool slightly, and shape into eclair shell.
Bake 40 minutes, cut a small slit into the side of each shell (releases the moisture inside the shell) and continue baking 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.
4Meanwhile, mix the filling. Add 1 1/2 c milk to pudding and whisk 2 minutes until smooth. Add cream, fold until well blended. Add almond extract. Set aside.
5Frosting: Melt Chocolate and 2 TBS. butter; remove from heat. Stir in confectionery sugar and 3 TBS. milk. Add more sugar if necessary. Will look shiny and smooth, ready to spread.
6Cut each eclair on one side, do not cut all the way around. Fill with cream. Frost and chill at least 6 hrs. May do the day before. Cover well to keep the fresh taste if not serving the same day.