As you may have heard (and may be sick of hearing by now), the total solar eclipse is coming to North America this Monday. Whether you’ll be seeing the sun overshadowed by the moon in person or not, why not take the excuse to celebrate?
There are plenty other creative ways to honor the eclipse via food, like making a beautifully decorated crescent moon cake if you’re feeling ambitious, or baking craggy sugar cookies brushed with luster dust to mimic moon glow. You could even make classic black and white cookies, but put a curve in the design, to simulate the phases of the eclipse. Or pack a lunch and put together an eclipse-themed bento.
However, as you may have also heard, it’s supposed to be an extra-special super big deal to be in the path of totality (i.e. the narrow band of the continent that will be able to see the sun completely blotted out) this Monday. The sky will turn dark in the middle of the day, stars will be visible, the temperature will drop, birds will stop chirping, cats and dogs will start living together . . . okay, maybe not that last one, but it will by all accounts be really cool.
So now we’re thinking something inkier is in order, like intense dark chocolate desserts. (Really, any reason to indulge!) Whip up one of these recipes in homage to totality, and it’ll be gone in even less time than it takes for the sun to reemerge.
Did you ever think any kind of brittle could be goth? Well, this jet-black version definitely qualifies. Since the naturally black sesame seeds are roasted first, they have a deep nutty flavor that’s a great contrast to the sugar. This is super easy to make, so you can get right back to reading about the eclipse (or complaining about people who are excited, while painting your nails black). Throw in some cocoa nibs for extra chocolatey crunch. If you don’t think brittle is a complete dessert, use some of the shiny black shards to garnish the following cake and it’ll be extra fancy. Get the recipe.
Look how dark and fudgy this cake is; in addition to plenty of cocoa and melted semisweet chocolate, it’s got buttermilk to add tang and moisture, and brewed coffee to further deepen the chocolate flavor. (If this all appeals to you but you prefer a more portable dessert, try these fudgy dark chocolate brown sugar cookies, which are just as moist as cake, but with a delectable chew.) If you stick with the actual cake, you’ll see the black velvet icing is unusual for the addition of eggs. If you’re scared of possible curdling, you can always go with a no-fail ganache instead, maybe with bittersweet chocolate subbed in for an edge. Get the recipe.
Not only visually stunning but very on trend, black ice cream is just cooler than plain chocolate. (But obviously we still love that too; get our Rich Chocolate Ice Cream recipe as proof.) If you want something that’s more edible Vantablack to celebrate totality, check out this vegan version with activated charcoal. But if you have to have chocolate and can settle for almost-black, this extra-dark version is sumptuous—and vegan too!—with dark cocoa, almond milk, coconut cream, and golden syrup. Get the recipe.
A creamy chocolate and salted caramel center with a hint of booze? And a snappy tempered dark chocolate shell? Um, yes please. These also mimic the shape of the sun and the moon, so they’re perfect eclipse treats. Since it’s hard to not eat all the truffles, you might want to try these uncoated, fudgier balls instead, which happen to have booze too (Kahlua), but are surprisingly healthy thanks to gluten free flours and cashew butter. Or you could just make both. Get the recipe.
What’s not to love about ganache? It’s smooth, rich, satiny, sweet, and stupid easy to make. Just heat some cream and butter and pour it over chopped chocolate until it melts, then pour it in a shell (here, made of cookie crumbs). This dessert also brings sea salt and dulce de leche to the party, always welcome guests. And if you look at this tart from above, it sort of resembles the corona around the sun at totality! (So you might say it’s a . . . total eclipse of the tart. Sorry.) Get the recipe.
If you’re in Oregon, you’ll be the first to see the eclipse, starting at around 9 AM on the coast. So you’ll want to get up early and give yourself plenty of time to find your viewing spot (or, er, get on the jam-packed roads to sit in traffic and watch the eclipse from the shoulder). Why not fortify yourself with dark chocolate waffles first, or reward yourself with them when you get back? Or eat them anytime, anywhere, because they are just so good? These are certainly special-occasion-worthy with their elegant citrus purée. Get the recipe.
Yes, more moon pies! They’re so appropriate, and so much fun to eat! These are dark and delicious, with a mocha marshmallow cream filling and a hint of saltiness in the crispy chocolate shortbread cookies, and the cocoa robe is nice and thick because there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. Get the recipe.
Yes, more mocha! Coffee goes so well with chocolate (and in small doses, it isn’t really detectable as a strong coffee flavor, so much as it amps the chocolate up). Anyway, these are obviously superlative cupcakes, and promise not to be too sweet. They happen to be gluten and dairy free and vegan friendly, so pretty much everyone can enjoy them! (For a more traditional dark chocolate cupcake with similar flavors, try these, which have an Earl Grey-accented ganache on top. Get the recipe.
If you’re short on time and need something easy yet still sophisticated, these chocolate-dipped, sea-salt-sprinkled brownie sticks are here for you. Go ahead and use a boxed mix; a lot of them are actually really good, and no one will care anyway. Hello, they’re dipped in chocolate! But if you just have to make your own, why not try these extra-fudgy, dense-in-a-good-way brownies with a secret ingredient? (The secret ingredient is miso!) And if you’re bored—for instance, stuck in gridlocked eclipse traffic (or listening to yet another discussion about it)—you can build mini Stonehenge with these brownie sticks before you chow down. Get the recipe.
Speaking of secret ingredients and brownies, here’s another twist on the classic. These are still dark and dense (this is no time for fluffy, cakey brownies), but they have a tingle to them, thanks to ginger, cinnamon, and a touch of cayenne. Unusual, which is fitting for a rare astrological phenomenon, no? Get the recipe.
One more double-dark recipe for those who can’t or won’t eat wheat or dairy, because everyone deserves brownies. These are actually really healthy, thanks to the stealth ingredient of black beans (which are also thematically appropriate), but you only taste the chocolate. They’ll get a little gooey at room temp, which is nice, especially with a glass of milk (soy or almond included), or coffee. If you’re in the path of totality, do your shopping now before it’s too late! Get the recipe.