[Originally published January 15, 2010.]

- - -

1. Allow the angel to reach room temperature. Then kill it.

2. Kill God. Set Him aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

4. Ecstatically whip, as if possessed by a storm-wind of freedom, 1-1/2 cups of excellent egg whites with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1-1/2 tsp. cream of tartar. Continue until peaks are as if raised to their own heights and given wings in a fine air, a robust air.

5. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, about 3 tbsp. at a time.

6. You are brilliant.

7. Now, add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. almond extract, and then sift together 1-1/4 cups flour and 3/4 cup sugar.

8. Blend in God and the angel. Emboldened, add the egg mixture.

9. Gaze into the überbatter. The überbatter will gaze into you.

10. While prancing about in a frenzy of self-satisfaction and anticipation, use a rubber scraper to push the überbatter into an ungreased 10" tube pan, for it is destined to be there.

11. Bake on a lower rack until done, usually 35-40 minutes, while reciting to the upper rack a long, convoluted anecdote about your childhood.

12. Invert the tube pan over a bottle for a few hours. Then impetuously rap the pan. Shout, “Aha!” and slide a knife along the pan’s insides.

13. Call what tumbles out a cake if you dare. Call it miraculous even.

14. Eat it. It is delicate, morbid, loveable, and you will die depressed, delirious, and overweight.