Easy Chocolate Mousse (no antlers)

1 bag (12 oz) mini chocolate chips
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


Put chocolate chips in blender
Bring cream to a boil, poor over chips and blend for about 30 seconds to melt chips.
** at this point you can add almond, orange, peppermint, or other extracts for flavor. I would start with just a splash.
Add egg yolks, salt, and vanilla and blend about 15 seconds
Pour into large bowl and set aside to cool for about 30 minutes.
Beat the 2 egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into chocolate mixture. Save others for Meringue (below) or omelets.
Pour mixture into dessert cups, pie shell (I like the pre-made Oreo cookie ones), or tart shells, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. This can be made a day ahead.

When I make a pie with it I like to top it with Italian Meringue. (Click for recipe). Italian Meringue holds up better the next day. It is almost as good then as the day it is made.  If you want to top the pie with the Meringue and you made it the day ahead, just put the left over egg whites in a glass or stainless steel bowl ( NOT-PLASTIC), cover and refrigerate. Just take them out about an hour before using them.  Egg whites beat best at room temperature.

I used to put it in the pre-made graham cracker tart shells, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them. They will keep several weeks. Just take out about one hour before you want to use them. (do not put the meringue on the frozen ones). 

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