is a sweet quiver, straight through your body which simultaneously takes you out of your body. A transcendence. A carnal experience that can be quite spiritual. Whether attained through song, sex, drugs, dance, or prayer…it is intense. A blazing moment when you know what it is to be ALIVE. Such fleeting joy. We spend our life weathering the ups and downs of anguish and ecstasy. What do you think? Can ecstasy exist without anguish?
Recipe for the poundcake below the story!
From her spiritual autobiography, Theresa Sanchez de Cepeda y Ahumada recounts her moment of spiritual rapture:
“It pleased our Lord that I should see the following vision a number of times. I saw an angel near me, on the left side, in bodily form. This I am not wont to see, save very rarely…. In this vision it pleased the Lord that I should see it thus. He was not tall, but short, marvellously beautiful, with a face which shone as though he were one of the highest of the angels, who seem to be all of fire: they must be those whom we call Seraphim…. I saw in his hands a long golden spear, and at the point of the iron there seemed to be a little fire. This I thought that he thrust several times into my heart, and that it penetrated to my entrails. When he drew out the spear he seemed to be drawing them with it, leaving me all on fire with a wondrous love for God. The pain was so great that it caused me to utter several moans; and yet so exceeding sweet is this greatest of pains that it is impossible to desire to be rid of it, or for the soul to be content with less than God.The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying”
This moment has been recreated in gilded stucco and marble, by the artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini
If you’re ever in Rome, visit the Santa Maria della Vittoria church to view Bernini’s masterpiece.
Eat Your Emotions: Ecstasy - Pound CakePrint This
- 4 eggs, separated
- 200g sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- zest of one lemon
- 200g butter, melted, cooled to warm
- 200g All Purpose Flour, sifted
tips for success:
- This is a french 4/4 cake (Quatre-Quart). Equal weights of eggs/sugar/butter/flour. The magic is in the mixing method!
- Eggs should be at room temperature before starting.
- Using a stand mixer is helpful
- Serve with whipped cream and berries, or with caramel and ice cream. Enjoy your ecstasy as you wish!
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Prepare your cake pan. I used a tube pan for the photo above, but it 9×5 loaf is standard. Butter and flour it.
- Whisk your egg whites in the bowl of your mixer, or use an electric beater. You want this to be whisked to almost firm peaks. If using your stand mixer, transfer your whites to a new bowl.
- Beat with paddle attachment the: sugar, yolks, salt, and zest together in the bowl of the stand mixer. You want it to be pale yellow and homogenous.
- Stream in melted butter and continue mixing until incorporated and smooth.
- Add the flour until just combined.
- Fold in the whipped whites.
- Pour into baking mold.
- Bake about 50-60 minutes.