Shuihua Foshou Sweet cake, literally means the
spoondrift Buddha-hand sweet cake, is one of the snacks with the local flavor of West Henan. According to the folk tale, Empress Cixi fled to
Beijing had been conquered by the Allies of Eight Countries. On the Empress’s return to
Beijing, the local governor of Shanzhou brainstormed a clever way to flatter her by ordering the unique food of “
spoondrift Buddha-hand sweet cake” to be made and presented to her when she passed Shanzhou. The surface of such a cake looks like the
spoondrifts of the
Yellow River, bubbles foaming, as thin as the wing of a cicada, much like the hand of the Buddha. On seeing such a “Buddha hand”, Cixi, a devotional Buddhist, was much delighted, considering it a good omen. After she had tasted it, she was so glad that she granted the chef a “Huangmagua”, a royal, yellow jerkin as an embodiment of royal protection, for the cake was really a dainty that was crispy outside, soft inside and sweet with a rose fragrance. The reputation of Shuihua Foshou sweet cake has been greatly enhanced ever since. Ren Hongwen, the retired chef of Sanmenxia Food & Service Co., Ltd., is a master of making such cakes, whose family has been making such cakes for four generations.