Longyou steamed sponge cake

Updated: Nov 26, 2018 chinadaily.com.cn Print

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Longyou steamed sponge cake is a specialty from Longyou county, Quzhou city. It is well known for unique flavors and exquisite production technique, and very popular as a holiday gift because the pronunciation of “steamed sponge cake” sounds like “more blessings” in Chinese.

The cake has a wide range of flavors such as Chinese date, nut and chestnut. It looks as white as jade, tastes sweet and soft, and is fragrant. The major ingredient can be sticky rice or other grains. The production process requires a dozen stages, with the most important part being the fermentation with glutinous rice wine, making it suitable for children and the elderly. 

To get fine flour, the sticky rice needs to be soaked for 10 days before being ground into powder. Then, pork fat, white sugar and fermented glutinous rice are added, making the powder into a paste which is put into a steamer covered with lotus leaves or reed leaves. Dates, plums and other fruits can be used to decorate the steamed cakes, or write or draw on the cake with red food dye. Finally, we have a Longyou steamed sponge cake.

The cake originated in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and became a tribute to the imperial court during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

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