a medium mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese,
sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Stir till
smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate pieces or
chopped chocolate and the candied cherries.
Cover and chill
Prepare cream puff pastry as directed, except
spoon dough into a decorating bag fitted with
a large plain round tip (about a 1/2-inch opening).
Slowly pipe strips of dough 3 inches apart onto
a lightly greased cookie sheet, making 12 éclairs,
each about 4 inches long, 1 1/4 inches wide,
and about 3/4 inch high. Bake in a preheated
400ºF oven for 30 - 35 minutes, or till
golden brown. Remove éclairs from baking
sheet. Cool on a rack.
Up to 1 hour before serving, horizontally cut
off the tops of the éclairs. Remove any
soft dough from the insides. Fill éclairs
with ricotta filling. Replace tops. Melt 1/3
cup chocolate pieces or chopped chocolate, shortening,
and corn syrup over low heat; drizzle or pipe
over éclairs. Sprinkle with nuts. Chill.