Thursday, 4 June 2020

Rainbow Pancake Cereal


Rainbow pancake cereal! <3

Can you spot the odd one out in the cereal? =)

Anyone tried the pancake cereal craze yet? The sensory feel is really different! It caught us by surprise too! We drizzed with honey and my kids said it was really yummy.

This is something simple you can make and have fun with the kids too! Instead of making many small pancakes which is not so kids-safe as I was afraid of them touching the hotplate, we made a few big rainbow ones and then cut out hearts from them. Use a low heat to cook the pancakes or even bake as sheets in the oven, then use hearts cookie cutters to cut them out.

Just a fun simple bake to make your kids.

Hope you are staying safe and well!

With lots of love,
Susanne


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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Disney Princess Strawberry Macaron Carousel

This creation is something many little girls would love to have but not something I would like to do often 🤣. Presenting my princess macaron carousel! One view just doesn't do it justice so I have to split it up into multiple views and include a video of it!

Ariel and Belle

Mulan

Cinderella

Rapunzel

See it all! 

I split the bake into 2 separate days for the shells. One day for the princesses and another for the carousel frame. The reason why this bake is super tedious isn't because of the designs but the fact that I had to prepare a total of 11 colours of batter and 10 colours of royal icing. Each colour requires mixing bowl, spatula and time to get the right shade of colour. Imagine the washing up after that and the number of piping bags I used!

I used the Swiss meringue method for this bake. Just to share some pictures of the process...

Piping the batter. I ran out of yellow batter 😅.  I prepare 2 sets in case of damage. 

Freshly baked shells! I chose to do minimal details using the batter as there are so many colours! 

Adding in the details post baking was just as tedious as the piping of batter for the base shells. I used royal icing, edible marker and lustre dust to add on the facial features and other details.

Check out the feet on the shells! 

 I was actually decorating another set of macarons at the same time so it was a total of 12 colours of royal icing at one go.

Tedious but great sense of accomplishment! I took 2 days to finish decorating this tray of macaron shells. One day for edible marker and lustre dust work, another day for royal icing work. 

I filled the macarons with strawberry white chocolate ganache in the middle and a stiffer strawberry white chocolate filling on the outer ring. You may refer to this post for the recipe for both types of fillings. To ensure the macarons do not slide down the pole, I glued the bottom shell to the paper straw pole using royal icing before filling the shells.

Filling the princesses

Looking pretty! 

I filled the carousel structure with these 2 fillings as well.

Filling the roof 

 I am glad the carousel and loose macarons brought some cheer to the birthday girl who had to celebrate it at home during this circuit breaker period!

I laughed when I saw this because Ariel looks so funny lying on her side 🤣. My friend took this picture of the carousel and extra loose pieces. 

I hope the sight of this carousel brings some cheer to all of you who are Disney princess fans!

With love,
Phay Shing



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Thursday, 28 May 2020

Hamster in Watermelon Chiffon Cake


Just for fun.. is this how we look like after the extended stay home period? 😂 =p 
Happy that circuit breaker is somewhat coming to an end. Hope this made you smile! =) 💖 

As you know, I have a love affair with watermelons. A watermelon chiffon cake is on the cover of my 3rd book Deco Chiffon Cake Basics. The Watermelon Cake pop is also in the first cookbook. The cookbooks have detailed recipe and step-by-step pictures. Book covers below.

Here, I tried to create a 3D chiffon cake Watermelon both outside (stripes) and inside (red flash and ring with seeds). Unfortunately, I don't have the cut slices to see if I got them perfect as they were given to my friends. 

I tried to create fun by making the hamster really chubby! =) Do you feel like pinching the cheeks? Heehee

Do take care and stay safe!

With love,
Susanne



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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Swan Tea Set Dark Chocolate Macarons

I didn't think something could be elegant and cute at the same time. I think this macaron teaset satisfies both very well!

Everything on the cakeboard is made up of macarons! 

I made a have made macaron teacups many times over but this is only my second time making the teapot. You may refer to this post for my first teaset made up of macarons. I made the teapot differently this time round as it was a request without many macarons so it didn't seem practical to have one round of baking just for the teapot lid which needed to be piped on a different sized mould from the rest of the hemispheres. I made the lid as one piece together with the top of the teapot body.

I used the swiss meringue method recipe for this set. I flavoured and coloured the pink macaron shells with some freeze-dried raspberry powder.

Piped parts

You may refer to this post on how to pipe the hemispherical shells.

I decorated the shells with royal icing, edible marker and lustre dust where appropriate

Requestor insisted on them wearing pink tiaras

Although dark chocolate ganache was requested as the flavour, I decided to layer on a little stiff water based white chocolate ganache coloured with a combination of blue pea flower tea and pandan paste. I only added a teeny bit of teal gel colour to brighten up the shade.

Yes water ganache is a thing! 

I didn't measure the exact amount of concentrated blue pea flower tea. Be careful not to add too much liquid to melted white chocolate or it will start to seize. Steep some dried blue pea flowers in boiling hot water for several minutes before using the tea. Use just enough water to cover the dried flowers.

Recipe for stiff blue pea flower pandan white chocolate water based ganache
Ingredients:
55g white chocolate, finely chopped
5g cocoa butter (may replace with white chocolate)
5g vegetable shortening (may replace with butter)
1/8 tsp salt
Approximately 1 tsp concentrated blue pea flower tea
1 small drop of pandan paste
Gel colouring as needed

Steps:
1. Melt white chocolate, cocoa butter and shortening in microwave oven at mediun power for 10 sec. Mix well and repeat until melted. Be careful not to overheat.

2. Add salt and mix well. Chill in freezer for 1-2 min and mix well. Repeat chilling and mixing until you are able to whip the white chocolate mixture until buttercream-like texture. Alternatively, you can prepare an ice bath and whip the melted chocolate mixture with electric mixer until like buttercream texture.

3. Add a drop of pandan paste and mix well. Add concentrated blue pea tea a little at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add gel colouring as necessary. Transfer to piping bag and fill the macaron shells.


Filling the bottom half of the teapot. I had to fill the top half and quickly but carefully invert it over the bottom half. Recipe for dark chocolate can be found here.

Filling the teacup with dark chocolate ganache at the bottom and a layer of white chocolate ganache on top

I couldn't resist taking photo of the teaset before filling the teacups because it looked so cute although the lighting at this time was quite bad

Another shot of the final product! 

I made the fillings fairly firm so the whole set can be kept at cool room temperature for 3 days with no issues. For longer storage, keep in fridge or freezer in airtight condition, preferably with some paper material within the airtight bag/box to absorb any moisture when bringing it back to room temperature.

With love,
Phay Shing

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Sunday, 24 May 2020

'Girl with Donut' Dark Chocolate Macaron Carousel

A mummy requested for a pink macaron carousel for her sweet little girl's first birthday!

The girl is holding a donut with "chocolate glaze" and rainbow sprinkles! 

I split the baking of the shells in 2 separate baking sessions to make it more manageable. I used a French method recipe for the girls and Swiss method recipe for the carousel frame.

Just to share some pictures of the process...

Piped shells for the girls 

Filling the shells with dark chocolate ganache and firm white chocolate water ganache

I couldn't resist taking photo of this partial assembly! 


A drip cake was originally requested but we decided to change it to chocolate cupcakes instead at the last minute since private parties are not allowed during this social distancing period. I had to bake extra heart macarons as cake toppers for the cupcakes. You may refer to this post for my ultimate chocolate cake recipe, which is a non-dairy German chocolate sponge with chocolate custard and dark chocolate ganache between sponge layers. I actually baked the sponge layers for the big cake already but converted to cupcakes by using round cookie cutters to cut out small circles of sponge for layering with filling in the cupcake cases. Do let the sponge and filling mature in the fridge for 2 to 3 days before eating as it tastes better after storage. The recipe in this post for the large chocolate cake is enough to convert to twenty-four 35x43mm cupcakes.


I mixed some dark chocolate ganache with whipped cream to pipe rosettes on top of the assembled cupcakes before putting on the heart macarons, which were filled with dark chocolate ganache.

With love,
Phay Shing
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Thursday, 21 May 2020

Sumikko Gurashi in Onsen Chiffon Cake


We really enjoyed the onsen in Japan last winter! Where do you miss travelling to the most?🌎 
Sumikko gurashi is so cute!

Those who know me know I have a soft spot for round round things! Check out my previous Sumikko Gurashi on playground and other Sumikko creations!

Made this for a dear primary school friend.

Meanwhile let's stay safe and persevere!

With lots of love,
Susanne


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Monday, 18 May 2020

Rainbow Pandan Kaya Cake

I made a pastel rainbow sponge and pudding cake in the past and this time, I am making it in pandan kaya flavour! Even the rainbow on top is made of alternating soft chiffon sponge and fragrant and smooth pudding!

I hope this view brightens your day in these dark days! 

You may ask how do I achieve the pandan kaya flavour without making the whole thing green?? I used pandan water, which is simply water boiled with many pandan leaves. The colour of the water is very pale green and it doesn't show up on the sponge or pudding especially since strong colours were requested. The pandan fragrance may be slightly muted since I didn't use concentrated pandan juice like I normally would. Despite that, the cake is still wonderfully refreshing and fragrant.

Needless to say, making rainbow cakes are tedious because of the colours involved. I baked 3 sponges in 3 separate rounds of baking the main cake because I only have one baking tin that is 6" with removeable base. You may bake the different colours in one or 2 rounds of baking if you have more than 1 tin.

Recipe for pandan coconut chiffon sponge (for 6"rainbow cake) 

I used a reduced egg yolk version because of the rainbow colours. Regular pandan kaya cakes should have more egg yolks in there. I didn't want to add too much colouring to overcome the yellowness of the yolks. You may refer to this post for my default pandan kaya cake recipe (I use stevia for diabetic friendly version but regular castor sugar regular recipe).

Ingredients:
Egg yolk batter
1 egg yolk
7g castor sugar
60g vegetable or coconut oil
30g coconut cream
30g pandan water
1 tsp coconut cream powder (optional but makes it more coconuty)
60g cake flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
Red, yellow and blue gel food colouring

Meringue*
1 x3 large egg whites
1/8 tsp x3 cream of tartar
18g x3 castor sugar

* the (x3) is because I needed to prepare the meringue separately for each colour because I bake them at separate times.

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 140°C. You may wish to put a tray of water at base of oven but it is optional. Set rack to middle position.

2. Prepare egg yolk batter. Whisk yolk and sugar until pale and thick. Add oil and whisk until combined. Add coconut cream, pandan water, coconut cream powder, vanilla and salt and whisk until combined. Gradually add in sifted flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.

3. Divide egg yolk batter into 3 equal portions and colour with respective gel food colouring. Keep 2 of the 3 portions covered with cling wrap to prevent batter from drying out if you can't bake all 3 colours at once.

4. Prepare meringue. If you are able to bake all 3 colours at once, prepare the meringue using 3 egg whites instead of 1. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks form, gradually adding sugar once the egg whites are foamy.

5. Quickly but gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk batter. Pour the batter into the 6" pan and run a chopstick around to pop any air bubbles. Bake for 30 - 35min or until skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 min before unmoulding by hand.

Store the baked cake in airtight condition if not assembling yet. The sponge for the rainbow on top can be made by baking thin layer cakes on a flat rectangle or square pan. Cut a strip out for red and yellow sponges. I also prepared extra sponge for anchoring the cake to the cakeboard as you can see later.

 Get ready acetate sheet and cakeboard before starting on the pudding. This is for the main cake. For the rainbow on top of the base cake, get ready round cookie cutters and line a baking tray with parchment or Teflon sheet.


Recipe for pandan coconut pudding
Ingredients (for each coloured layer) :
A)
240g coconut milk
130g pandan water
70g castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp agar powder
Some food colouring **

B)
28g cornflour
130g pandan water

** I added pandan paste for the green layer

Steps:
1. Put ingredients in B) in a jug and stir to mix well. Set aside.

2. Put all ingredients in A) in a saucepan. We begin by making the green pudding first so start off by adding some pandan paste and a bit of yellow colouring. Heat on mediun heat while stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and continue boiling and stirring for a minute.

3. Stir contents in the jug before pouring in a thin stream into saucepan while stirring the mixture constantly. Continue heating and stirring until mixture comes to a boil again. Boil and stir for another minute. Remove from heat and assemble with cakes immediately.


Assembly
1. We assemble the rainbow on top of the cake and the main cake at the same time as the pudding sets quite quickly when cooled. Before making the green pudding, place the blue sponge on a baking tray and wrap the acetate sheet around it. I mark my acetate sheet at 1cm intervals to help me to gauge the level of sponge and pudding layers when I assemble. Place a 6cm diameter metal cookie cutter on lined baking tray. Place the yellow sponge cake inside the ring. Cut the sponge to appropriate size.

2. Make the green pudding. Carefully spoon some pudding in the space encircled by the yellow sponge on the baking tray. Refrigerate the tray while carefully ladelling the green pudding to cover the blue sponge for main cake until the same height as the sponge.

3. Carefully place yellow sponge layer over green pudding for main cake. Gently press the cake down so there are no air gaps between sponge and pudding layers.

4. Prepare orange pudding layer ingredients but don't start cooking yet. Check to see if the green pudding for the rainbow on top has set. Carefully remove the 6cm cookie cutter, leaving the yellow sponge and green pudding on the tray. Place the 10cm cookie cutter over the yellow sponge and green pudding. Place red sponge against the insides of the 10cm cookie cutter. Cut the strip of red sponge if necessary such that it fits nicely into the cookie cutter. Make sure the yellow and green parts of the rainbow lie in the middle of the red circle.

5. Make the orange pudding. Carefully spoon the pudding in the gap between the red and yellow sponge rings for rainbow on top of cake. Chill the tray in the fridge.

Quickly wipe away any accidental drips of the pudding. 

6. Ladle orange pudding over yellow sponge layer for the main cake until same height as sponge. Carefully place red sponge over orange pudding and press it down gently to get rid of air gaps.

Assembling main cake

7. Prepare purple pudding.  I baked extra sponge and cut out a small circle of it as an anchor for the last pudding layer because pudding will slide on the cakeboard. The sponge in contact with the cakeboard is to help anchor the whole cake. Ladle some purple pudding over the red sponge. Place the small circle cutout of sponge on top of the purple pudding. Cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 h or overnight.


8. Remove the concentric rings of sponge and pudding from fridge. Use a 2 cm cookie cutter to cut out the middle of green sponge. Carefully cut the concentric rainbow ring into half. Use one of the halves for decorating the base cake.

9. Remove the main rainbow cake from fridge. Remove cling wrap. Place cakeboard over the purple layer. Quickly but carefully flip the cake over such that the blue layer is on top now. Remove the acetate sheet.

I baked some white sheet chiffon cake for cutting out the clouds and lettering. I used skewers as dowels to anchor the rainbow on top to the cake below. The clouds and lettering were stuck on using melted gelatin instead of our usual melted marshmellow.

The clouds and lettering are all made of chiffon cake too! 

Thank God I managed to pull off a yummy and refreshing rainbow cake without the use of buttercream or fondant!

With love,
Phay Shing

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Thursday, 14 May 2020

Shellie May Chiffon Cake


This Teddy bear among Flowers is made entirely made from chiffon cake, and inspired by the super sweet Shellie May, from Disneysea. This is actually a belated mother's day cake, and dedicated to all the beautiful mummies I know. Take care!

With lots of love,
Susanne
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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Winnie the Pooh Mango Choux Pastries in Macaron Teacups

Mangoes are still cheap and plentiful at the moment so I hope you aren't tired of seeing more mango creations from me 🤣. Presenting my mixed genre creation that I was working on while we aren't allowed to bake for sale. Pooh bear mango choux pastries in macaron teacups, topped off with strawberry meringue Piglets!!


Here is another look of them without the distractions in front.


You may refer to my previous post for detailed recipe for the Piglet meringues.

The focus of this blog post will be for the new mango filling recipe that is yummy both frozen in freezer and chilled in the fridge. Up to you which way you want to serve it.

You may refer to this post for the detailed recipe of choux pastry batter with craquelin. I used a 3cm craquelin on 2.5cm piped batter for Pooh's head. I used a pinch of yellow powder food colouring and some white gel food colouring for both craquelin and batter.

Highly recommended to use perforated mat if you have it! Baking time is about 45-50min to thoroughly bake dry the cases. Temperature depends on your oven as each one behaves differently. As a rule of thumb, start off high but drop the temperature later on. This is to ensure nice puffy cases but minimal browning. 

I piped the ears and hands after baking the heads just to have a better gauge of the size of the small parts that need to be piped. You may pipe these on parchment lined baking trays. These just need to bake for about 15 min

Freshly baked ears and hands! Oops some pieces got blown away by the fan in my kitchen 😂

When choux cases are baked until dry, they can be stored for a week at room temperature while staying crisp, much like cookies. So take your time to dry out the cases if you like crisp pastries. Sometimes this can take up to an hour of leaving the cases in the oven.

You may refer to this post on how to make the teacup macarons. I just decorated it in a way to suit the Pooh theme.

Macaron teacups decorated and assembled with royal icing

I was cute overloaded by this sight even though it was still works-in-progress! The ears can simply be inserted into the choux cases but the hands need to be glued on using some royal icing. Do use a zester to grind off a little bit of the hands so that it fits nicely on the surface of the head.



I am a big fan of strong but balanced flavours without being too sweet in desserts. The lightened mango pastry cream is one of them. I inject fruity flavours by using a combination of cooked puree and chopped fresh fruit pieces. Do adjust the amount of sugar according to taste and sweetness level of the mangoes you are using. You may use more or less whipping cream as you wish.

Recipe for lightened mango pastry cream
Ingredients:
150 mango puree, strained
50g fresh milk (or coconut milk)
1tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
10g sugar
A pinch of salt
20g cornflour
18g unsalted butter
80g dairy or non-dairy (or a mix) whipping cream
1 mango, cut into small pieces

Steps :
1. Place puree, milk and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat on medium low heat until steaming but not boiling.

2. In the mean time, sift cornflour into a heavy mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and whisk together. Add egg yolks and whisk until a paste is formed.

3. While whisking the egg yolk mixture continuously, slowly pour in hot puree /milk mixture in a thin stream. Pour the mixture back into saucepan.

4. Heat saucepan over medium low heat while whisking continously. Once the mixture starts to thicken, remove from heat and continue whisking until smooth. Return to heat and continue to whisk and cook until desired consistency.  Some people prefer runnier filling, some prefer firmer. Remove from heat and add butter into the pastry cream. Whisk until butter is combined into the mixture.

5. Sieve the pastry cream into a bowl and press cling wrap onto the surface. Chill in fridge until cool, at least an hour.

6. Whip whipping cream until firm peaks. If using full dairy, be careful not to overwhip.

7. Take the pastry cream out from fridge and whip with spatula to loosen it a little. Add a little at a time to the whipped cream and fold it in. Add chopped mangoes and fold it in.

If you prefer the "ice-cream" version, freeze the lightened pastry cream in a thin layer in a container or lined baking tray. This is to ensure the cream freezes quickly and does not turn icy too much. You can also chill the cream in fridge until ready to fill. Always fill the cases just before consuming to enjoy the crisp cases with cold and yummy filling.

Folding in the pastry cream and chopped mangoes. 


Here is another look of the cute Poohs!


My kids love the ice-cream version so much they have been having it on consecutive days for a few days!

With love,
Phay Shing
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Saturday, 9 May 2020

Toilet Roll Roll Cake


A luxurious 5-ply Toilet roll Roll Cake that literally unravels into continuous sheets of roll cake like the paper 🧻! 🤭😛

I always wanted to make a REAL toilet roll cake that unravels! 🤩 Hope this cute cake made you smile amidst this extended "stay-home" period! ☺

Here is another view of the cake! The soft cake layers are clearer from here.


Do you prefer this swiss roll version or the previous chiffon cake version more?
Flavour is yummy coconut chiffon roll sponge, and the cake is really soft and fluffy!

For those who want to try, Online Video Tutorial Class available here 💕.
If you try out this cake, do tag me; I will love to see it and share your results.

Take care!

With lots of love,
Susanne




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Thursday, 7 May 2020

Piglet Strawberry Meringue Cookies

While I have the time to play around with content that is not requested by someone, I thought I better seize it. I had this outrageous idea of creating a mixed genre creation that involves macarons, choux pastry and meringue cookies. This blog post features the meringue cookie part. Presenting my first attempt at character meringue cookies --- strawberry Piglet meringues!


Many thanks to a very talented baker, Kokoma, for the meringue recipe. Do checkout her Instagram account @kokomacake. She shared her meringue recipe and method in video tutorials on her Instagram account. I tweaked it a little to include strawberry flavour and added cornflour because it has been rainy here in Singapore lately. She uses Swiss meringue, which is more stable than French meringue as Swiss meringue uses semi-cooked egg whites. I made meringue mushrooms for a stump cake end of last year using French meringue and you can read about it here.

Important notes on meringue cookies. Do make sure that sugar is completely dissolved in the egg whites before piping it out. Otherwise your meringues won't have a smooth surface and the piped shapes will collapse a little or lose its definition. Always use a temperature of not more than 100°C to dry out the meringues as the meringues will crack if temperature is too high. If you have a dehydrator, you may use it instead of the oven. That was what Kokoma used. I don't have one so I used my oven.

Strawberry Meringue Piglet
Ingredients (makes about 25 Piglets) :
35g egg whites
60g icing sugar (preferably with cornflour already added)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional, to stabilize meringue)
1 tsp cornflour
A pinch of salt (optional)
A little strawberry paste (less than 1/8 tsp)
Pink gel food colouring

Steps:
1. Prepare a template with 2.5cm circles and place it under parchment paper on the baking tray. Preheat oven to 90-100°C.

2. Combine all ingredients except strawberry paste and food colouring in a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of water without the water touching the base of the bowl. Whisk and heat over medium low heat until sugar is all dissolved or temperature reaches 45-50°C. Take your time to heat the egg whites as you want to ensure all sugar is dissolved.

3. Remove bowl from heat and use electric mixer to beat until firm peaks form. Do not beat until stiff and dry. As long as meringue doesn't slide around inside the bowl when you tip it, it is ready. Add a few chopstick dips of strawberry paste into the meringue and gently fold it in. Do not add too much as you don't want too much moisture in the meringue.


4. Add some gel food colouring if the shade of pink is still too light. Portion out about 2tbs of meringue and add more pink colouring for Piglet's ears and nose.


5. Transfer light pink meringue into piping bag fitted with Wilton #12 tip and dark pink meringue into piping bag with a small hole cut at the end. Glue the parchment down to baking tray with a little meringue.

6. Pipe the head, followed by the ears. Change the tip for light pink to Wilton #4 or 5 and pipe the hands. Dap a small dollop of dark pink for the nose. You may use a toothpick to pull the meringue a little to shape the nose or any other part to your liking.


7. Bake for 2-3h or until dry. Store in airtight container if you aren't decorating yet.

Freshly baked! 

8. Make some black edible paint or in my case, I used black royal icing to add on the eyes and eyebrows. Let it dry again in the oven for about 15 min at 90°C. Remember to keep meringues at room temperature in airtight condition to keep them crisp and not sticky.

Wondering where Piglet is supposed to go? See this next blog post!

With love,
Phay Shing
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