There's no need to use premixed hot chocolate packets when you can easily make a gourmet version yourself at home.

Chef Kristin Egan from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park stopped by our studios to show us just how easy it is to make real hot chocolate at home. The key is to use actual chocolate, not cocoa powder. While the powder is fine for making "hot cocoa," an actual hot chocolate is made with real chocolate.

Chef Egan says to start making your hot chocolate by warming up some milk,. Since hot chocolate is supposed to be rich and creamy, avoid skim or even 1% milk. If you want a truly decadent treat, go for whole milk.

While the liquid is heating take a combination of dark and milk chocolate and either chop it up into small pieces or shave it down. Then, just drop the chocolate into the warm milk and let it melt down.  Add chocolate to taste. If you want a really rich drink, just add some extra.

Chef Egan finishes off her hot chocolate by adding some cream at the very end to make the drink even smoother. Some whipped cream on top will do the same thing as it melts in the drink. And, of course, no hot chocolate would be complete with some marshmallows thrown on top.

Here's the finished product and some hot chocolate tips from Chef Egan: