A blackout cake to celebrate the solar eclipse is the perfect excuse to indulge in cake. Chocolate cake. Really, really crazy deliciously dark chocolate cake. So delicious it'll overshadow everything else in your existence.
The last time it happened, I was nineteen years old. I have vague memories of squinting through a red cellophane candy wrapper at the noon sky and wondering what the big deal was. But I guess a total solar eclipse doesn’t make the list of Life’s Big Moments to a hormone-rattled teenager. I was more concerned with lacquering down my helmet haircut with my mother’s Aqua Net and trying to squeeze into a faux leather vest. I did have a geeky friend who walked around with a box over his head all day. I guess it was a thing. (It was the ’70s, after all.)
Oh, how times have changed. Today, I’m strictly a Bumble and Bumble man and I wouldn’t be caught semi-comatose in a vest—even at a homage party to the Village People. And I’m dying to see the solar eclipse on August 21. The only problem is that the damn thing has the temerity to pass south and west of New York and Connecticut, giving us locals what astronomers call a “partial eclipse,” a vague terms that, when translated into everyday language, means ‘You’re crap out of luck, kids.’
And to think I’d already gone to Walmart to buy my own pair of American Eclipse Glasses for $9.99. (They were out of stock, but I did leave with two 6-cup muffin tins for 88 cents each, so it wasn’t a total loss.) Rest assured, when I join my skyward-looking brethren next week, I’ll find a way to fashion something to watch what little Mother Nature has deigned to give us up here in the forgotten North. (Although I will not wear a box on my head.)
For those of you who aren’t in the eclipse’s path, I offer this handy image of an eclipse. Just print it out and tape it to the inside of your glasses and gaze upward, giving your neighbors plenty to discuss at their next town/city/county/co-op/condo/AA meeting.
Whether you watch this rare and blessed event or not, I urge you to celebrate with our Brooklyn Blackout Cake. (Yes, I’m evil, and will find any reason to eat cake—and to tempt you to do the same.)
Oh, and for God’s sake, don’t do what I did and look upward through cellophane. Make sure to gaze safely because this is one time your mother’s right: If you don’t stop it, you will go blind.
Your Sun God,