Friday, March 06, 2009

Things Cross-Processed: Photos of Le Gâteau de Zoé and Sins

Messing around with recette du chef Pierre Jancou, proprietaire du restaurant Racines à Paris, parue dans Elle à table:

Gâteau de Zoé - cocoa nibs!
6 œufs
300g de chocolat noir
120g de beurre demi-sel
1 expresso très fort
80g de sucre en poudre
cocoa nibs (merci Monsieur David Lebovitz!)

Préchauffez le four à 200°C.
Faites fondre le beurre avec le chocolat et le petit café très serré.
Séparez les jaunes d’œufs des blancs.
Battez les jaunes et le sucre jusqu’à obtenir un mélange homogène.
Battez les blancs en neige bien ferme.
Incorporez le mélange jaunes-sucre et les blancs en neige, mélangez puis ajoutez délicatement.
Incorporez le mélange chocolat.
Versez le tout dans un moule à manqué beurré et fariné.
Parsemer le cocoa nibs.
Enfournez et faites cuire 15 minutes.
Sortez le gâteau du four, le cœur doit être coulant.

Gâteau de Zoé Schadenfreude: a sad cake makes many people happy
A "cross-processed" image of le Gâteau de Zoé. Le cœur doit être coulant - not, because of an unborn child. Still,what Schadenfreude - the sad cake made many people happy, except the sad ones who were unhappy with bittersweet endings.

Sins, when cross-processed (that is, through the cross of Christ), are both paid for and still in need of mortification.
The mortification of a lust consists of three things:
(1) An habitual weakening of it.
Every lust is a depraved habit or disposition, continually inclining the heart to evil. Thence is that description of him who has no lust truly mortified, Gen 6:5, "Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually." He is always under the power of a strong bent and inclination to sin. And the reason why a natural man is not always perpetually in the pursuit of some one lust, night and day, is because he has many to serve, every one crying to be satisfied; thence he is carried on with great variety, but still in general he lies towards the satisfaction of self.

The lust or distemper whose mortification is desired may not always be stirring up imaginations, thoughts, and contrivances but we should consider it to be a strong, deeply-rooted, habitual inclination and bent of will and affections. Hence, men are said to have their "hearts set upon evil," the bend of their spirits lies towards it, to make "provision, for the flesh." And a sinful, depraved habit, as in many other things, so in this, differs from all natural or moral habits whatever: for whereas they incline the soul gently and suitably to itself, sinful habits impel with violence and impetuousness; whence lusts are said to fight or wage "war against the soul," 1 Pet. 2:11, -- to rebel or rise up in war with that conduct and opposition which is usual therein, Rom. 7:23, -- to lead captive, or effectually captivating upon success in battle, -- all works of great violence and impetuousness.

I might manifest fully, from that description we have of it, Rom. 7, how it will darken the mind, extinguish convictions, dethrone reason, interrupt the power and influence of any considerations that may be brought to hamper it, and break through all into a flame. But this is not my present business. Now, the first thing in mortification is the weakening of this habit of sin or lust, that it shall not, with that violence, earnestness, frequency, rise up, conceive, tumultuate, provoke, entice, disquiet, as naturally it is apt to do, James 1:14-15.

I shall desire to give one caution or rule by the way, and it is this: Though every lust does in its own nature equally, universally, incline and impel to sin, yet this must be granted with these two limitations:

[1] One lust, or a lust in one man, may receive many accidental improvements, heightenings, and strengthenings, which may give it life, power, and vigour, exceedingly above what another lust has, or the same lust (that is, of the same kind and nature) in another man. When a lust falls in with the natural constitutions and temper, with a suitable course of life, with occasions, or when Satan has got a fit handle to it to manage it, as he has a thousand ways so to do, that lust grows violent and impetuous above the others, or more than the same lust in another man; then the steams of it darken the mind so, that though a man knows the same things as formerly, yet they have no power nor influence on the will, but corrupt affections and passions are set by it at liberty.

But especially, lust gets strength by temptation. When a suitable temptation falls in with a lust, it gives it a new life, vigour, power violence, and rage, which it seemed not before to have or to be capable of. Instances to this purpose might be multiplied; but it is the design of some part of another treatise to evince this observation.

[2] Some lusts are far more sensible and discernible in their violent actings than others. Paul puts a difference between uncleanness and all other sins: 1 Cor. 6:18, "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body." Hence, the motions of that sin are more sensible, more discernible than of others; when perhaps the love of the world, or the like, is in a person no less habitually predominant than that, yet it makes not so great a combustion in the whole man.

And on this account some men may go in their own thoughts and in the eyes of the world for mortified men, who yet have in them no less predominancy of lust than those who cry out with astonishment upon the account of its perplexing tumultuatings, yea, than those who have by the power of it been hurried into scandalous sins; only their lusts are in and about things which raise not such a tumult in the soul, about which they are exercised with a calmer frame of spirit, the very fabric of nature being not so nearly concerned in them as in some other.
I say, then, that the first thing in mortification is the weakening of this habit, that it shall not impel and tumultuate as formerly; that it shall not entice and draw aside; that it shall not disquiet and perplex the killing of its life, vigour, promptness, and readiness to be stirring. This is called "crucifying the flesh with the lusts thereof," Gal. 5:24; that is, taking away its blood and spirits that give it strength and power, -- the wasting of the body of death "day by day," 2 Cor. 4:16.

As a man nailed to the cross; he first struggles, and strives, and cries out with great strength and might, but, as his blood and spirits waste, his strivings are faint and seldom, his cries low and hoarse, scarce to be heard; -- when a man first sets on a lust or distemper, to deal with it, it struggles with great violence to break loose; it cries with earnestness and impatience to be satisfied and relieved; but when by mortification the blood and spirits of it are let out, it moves seldom and faintly, cries sparingly, and is scarce heard in the heart; it may have sometimes a dying pang, that makes an appearance of great vigour and strength, but it is quickly over, especially if it be kept from considerable success. This the apostle describes, as in the whole chapter, so especially, Rom. 6:6.

"Sin," says he, "is crucified; it is fastened to the cross." To what end? "That the body of death may be destroyed," the power of sin weakened and abolished by little and little, that "henceforth we should not serve sin;" that is, that sin might not incline, impel us with such efficacy as to make us servants to it, as it has done heretofore. And this is spoken not only with respect to carnal and sensual affections, or desires of worldly things, -- not only in respect of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, -- but also as to the flesh, that is, in the mind and will, in that opposition to God which is in us by nature. Of what nature soever the troubling distemper be, by what ways soever it makes itself out, either by impelling to evil or hindering from that which is good, the rule is the same; and unless this be done effectually, all after-contention will not compass the end aimed at. A man may beat down the bitter fruit from a evil tree until he is weary; whilst the root abides in strength and vigour, the beating down of the present fruit will not hinder it from bringing forth more. This is the folly of some men; then set themselves with all earnestness and diligence against the appearing eruption of lust, but, leaving the principle and root untouched, perhaps unsearched out, they make but little or no progress in this work of mortification.

(2) In constant fighting and contending against sin
To be able always to be laying load on sin is no small degree of mortification. When sin is strong and vigorous, the soul is scarce able to make any head against it; it sighs, and groans, and mourns, and is troubled, as David speaks of himself, but seldom has sin in the pursuit. David complains that his sin had "taken fast hold upon him, that he could not look up," Ps. 40:12. How little, then, was he able to fight against it! Now, sundry things are required unto and comprised in this fighting against sin:

[1] To know that a man has such an enemy to deal withal, to take notice of it, to consider it as an enemy indeed, and one that is to be destroyed by all means possible, is required hereunto. As I said before, the contest is vigorous and hazardous, -- it is about the things of eternity. When, therefore, men have slight and transient thoughts of their lusts, it is no great sign that they are mortified, or that they are in a way for their mortification. This is every man's "knowing the plague of his own heart," 1 Kings 8:38, without which no other work can be done. It is to be feared that very many have little knowledge of the main enemy that they carry about with them in their bosoms. This makes them ready to justify themselves, and to be impatient of reproof or admonition, not knowing that they are in any danger, 2 Chron. 16:10.

[2] To labour to be acquainted with the ways, wiles, methods, advantages, and occasions of its success, is the beginning of this warfare. So do men deal with enemies. They inquire out their counsels and designs, ponder their ends, consider how and by what means they have formerly prevailed, that they may be prevented. In this consists the greatest skill in conduct. Take this away, and all waging of war, wherein is the greatest improvement of human wisdom and industry, would be brutish. So do they deal with lust who mortify it indeed. Not only when it is actually vexing, enticing, and seducing, but in their retirements they consider, "This is our enemy; this is his way and progress, these are his advantages, thus hath he prevailed, and thus he will do, if not prevented." So David, "My sin is ever before me," Ps. 51:3. And, indeed, one of the choicest and most eminent parts of practically spiritual wisdom consists in finding out the subtleties, policies, and depths of any indwelling sin; to consider and know wherein its greatest strength lies, -- what advantage it uses to make of occasions, opportunities, temptations, -- what are its pleas, pretences, reasonings, -- what its stratagems, colours, excuses; to set the wisdom of the Spirit against the craft of the old man; to trace this serpent in all its turnings and windings; to be able to say, at its most secret and (to a common frame of heart) imperceptible actings, "This is your old way and course; I know what you aim at;" -- and so to be always in readiness is a good part of our warfare.

[3] To load it daily with all the things which shall after be mentioned, that are grievous, killing, and destructive to it, is the height of this contest. Such a one never thinks his lust dead because it is quiet, but labours still to give it new wounds, new blows every day. So the apostle, Col. 3:5.

Now, whilst the soul is in this condition, whilst it is thus dealing, it is certainly uppermost; sin is under the sword and dying.

(3.) In success
Frequent success against any lust is another part and evidence of mortification. By success I understand not a mere disappointment of sin, that is be not brought forth nor accomplished, but a victory over it, and pursuit of it to a complete conquest. For instance, when the heart finds sin at any time at work, seducing, forming imaginations to make provision for the flesh, to fulfill that lusts thereof, it instantly apprehends sin, and brings it to the law of God and love of Christ, condemns it, follows it with execution to the uttermost.

Now, I say, when a man comes to this state and condition, that lust is weakened in the root and principle, that its motions and actions are fewer and weaker than formerly, so that they are not able to hinder his duty nor interrupt his peace, -- when he can, in a quiet, sedate frame of spirit, find out and fight against sin, and have success against it, -- then sin is mortified in some considerable measure, and, notwithstanding all its opposition, a man may have peace with God all his days.

(John Owen, The Mortification of Sins In Particular Described from The Mortification of Sins)
Gâteau de Zoé - does not look good naked
But how can the repentant sinner even commence this mortification of sin? Akan datang.

Gabriel Fauré, Cantique de Jean Racine (Choir of St John's College Cambridge)
Dissipe le sommeil d'une âme languissante,
Qui la conduit à l'oubli de tes lois!

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At March 07, 2009 8:46 am , Anonymous cupboard hubbard said...

er, is this becoming something a la nigella? ;)

(can you translate recipe for me? i'm not sure if i want to rely on babelfish. haha).

At March 14, 2009 12:52 am , Anonymous shadow said...

worship at the shrine of food? suffer from the tyranny of culinary idolatry? egads! i hope not!

erm. not sure how i compare with monsieur babelfish... will mail you later!


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