Chocolate Soup
(serves 6)

Chef of the Month Sharon Hage of York Street
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whole milk
heavy cream
granulated sugar
whole black peppercorns
star anise, cinnamon stick
Earl Grey tea
vanilla extract
coffee liqueur
extra bitter sweet chocolate.

 1 1/4     cups whole milk
 2 3/4     cups heavy cream
    1/4     cup granulated sugar
    1/8      teaspoon salt
    1/2      teaspoon whole black peppercorns
       2      pieces star anise
1-inch     piece of cinnamon stick
       1      teaspoon Earl Grey tea
       2      teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/4      cup coffee liqueur
6 ounces  high quality extra bitter sweet chocolate, cut in small pieces

Combine all ingredients, except liqueur and chocolate, in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from heat; cover tightly. Let flavors infuse for one hour.

Melt chocolate pieces over a pot of barely simmering water and set aside uncovered in a warm place.

Bring milk mixture back to a simmer; add melted chocolate and whisk to combine thoroughly. Warm chocolate mixture on low heat for five minutes. After mixture is thoroughly combined, put through a fine, mesh strainer. Discard solids.

Whisk coffee liqueur into soup and serve warm. Top with homemade marshmallows or biscotti. The soup may be prepared ahead up to two days and chilled. Re-heat over low heat before serving.