Easy Rabbit Cake

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Since it’s finally spring, I decided to make a super easy rabbit cake! It’s so easy to make, I actually making it as part of my live stream for the Food Network, which can be seen here! This cake is covered in coconut buttercream, and shredded coconut, so you don’t have to worry about frosting your cake perfectly smooth. This cake is a perfect way to celebrate spring, or could even be a fun Easter dessert! It also is perfect for anyone who loves rabbits! The recipe can be found below.

Vanilla Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 large egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

American Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp coconut extract

Decorations:

  • pink fondant
  • white fondant
  • black fondant
  • skewers (for ears)
  • shredded coconut

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 8” round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

While the cake layers bake and cool, prepare the coconut buttercream. Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla, coconut extract, and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. Mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get smooth sides on your cake.

If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

To assemble the cake, stack cake layers and apply an even layer of coconut buttercream between each layer. I also chose to sprinkle some toasted coconut between the layers. Once stacked, I applied a thin crumb coat to the cake, and chilled the cake in the freezer for 5 minutes to allow the crumb coat to firm up. I then applied a thicker, second layer of buttercream, and covered the cake in shredded coconut. I put some left over buttercream in a pipping bag, and added a tail and cheeks to the cake. I then added fondant ears, eyes, mouth, whiskers, and a nose to the top of the cake. I made these the night before to allow them to firm up before placing them on the cake.

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You can easily simplify the face of the rabbit, but I got a bit carried away making giant ears and big eyes 🙂

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Chocolate Ganache Drip Recipe

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Drip cakes have been a very popular cake trend this past year! While I usually make colorful drip cakes using a white chocolate ganache colored with gel food coloring, I always have a soft spot in my heart for classic chocolate ganache.  The beauty of this recipe is it’s simplicity. You only need two ingredients, it’s so easy!!! You also can use your favorite chocolate, whether it’s dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate 🙂 It takes less than 5 minutes to make. In fact, it’s so easy, I’ve made it during a facebook live-stream before!! You can see my full tutorial on how to make and drizzle chocolate ganache here.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (3 oz.)

Instructions:

Heat heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until gently bubbling.

If you don’t have a microwave or prefer to use the stove top, you can heat the cream over a medium heat in a pan until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl.

Gently pour chocolate chips into the heavy cream, making sure they are fully covered with cream. Allow mixture to sit for 2 minutes. Stir slowly until the cream and chocolate are fully combined combined. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes (or place in fridge for about 15 minutes), then pour into a squirt bottle for easy application.

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If it seems to thin or thick, you can add a touch more chocolate chips or heavy cream! The type of cream and chocolate that you use can affect the consistency, so feel free to adjust as needed. The temperature of the ganache will also have a big impact on how well it drizzles. It should be slightly warmer than room temperature, but not so hot that it melts your buttercream as you drizzle it! I will be sharing  full tutorial on how to make a chocolate drip cake on my YouTube Channel this weekend, so stay tuned!

I prefer to put my ganache into plastic squirt bottles when decorating cakes! But you can also use a spoon to drizzle it over cakes.

Extra ganache can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks. Below is a fun upside down double drip cake I made for my YouTube channel using this chocolate ganache recipe, and my no-thermometer caramel recipe.

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Pink Bubble Gum Inspired Cake

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This week I made a pink, bubble gum inspired cake!!  Don’t worry, it isn’t bubble gum flavored, just decorated in a bubble gum-inspired fashion.  This cake was for Cosmopolitan, and the full video of it can be seen here. It was inspired by the amazing bubble gum cupcakes made by The Scran Line.

I used my go to vanilla cake batter and american buttercream recipe, and topped it with pink gelatin bubbles. The full recipe and tutorial on how to make gelatin bubbles can be found here.

Vanilla Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 large egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • pink gel food coloring

American Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 6 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • pink gel food coloring

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 8” round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds. Evenly divide that batter between two bowls, and color one bowl light pink, and one bowl hot pink with gel good coloring.

Pour batter into each  of the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling. To speed up this process you can also pop your cake layers into the freezer until fully cooled.

While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting! Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time). Color a half a cup of frosting light pink, and another half cup hot pink with gel food coloring. Set aside.

To assemble the cake, stack cake layers and smooth an even layer of buttercream on top of each layer. Alternate the bright pink and light pink layers. Apply a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat), and place in freezer to chill for 5 minutes.

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Once fully chilled and firm to the touch, apply a second layer of buttercream, then smear bits of the pink frosting randomly around the cake. Smooth with a bench scraper, making long slow motions. Remove excess frosting from scraper as you smooth.

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Spread pink and white sprinkles around the base of the cake. I used sprinkles from the Neon Yolk Shop. I then added the gelatin bubbles in a semi-circle on the top of the cake, and added some additional sprinkles and edible glitters around the bubbles 🙂

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How to Make Edible Gelatin Bubbles for Cake Decorating

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I had never made gelatin bubbles before, but was asked to make a bubble gum inspired cake! I had always wanted to try the technique, and learned quite a bit making them. I followed Cake Central’s tutorial, and learned a few things along the way!  I wanted to share the tips that I will keep in mind the next time I make these. These are much less difficult to make than I had initially thought, but it’s definitely a messy process! The below portions make enough bubbles to cover the top of an 8 inch cake.

Ingredients and Materials:

  • 6 Tbsp. of unflavored gelatin (I used the Knox brand, can be found at most grocery stores and Target)
  • 12 Tbsp of cold water
  • heatproof bowl
  • small balloons (I ordered these from amazon)
  • gel food coloring or luster dust (optional)
  • cooling rack (to dry bubbles)

I made three different batches of gelatin, because the gelatin cools very quickly!

The first thing I did was blow up my small balloons into varying sizes (1 inch to 3 inches in diameter). I did my best to shape them in perfect circles. I found it helps to tie the knot very high up on the neck of the balloon. I then fully coated the balloons with a thin coat of shortening. Be sure to wipe away any excess shortening (white areas), as the gelatin won’t stick to the balloon if there’s too much.

Begin by adding 4 Tbsp. of cold water to a bowl. Pour in 2 packets of gelatin (ratio should always be 2 parts water, 1 part gelatin). Gently swirl the water in the bowl to fully incorporate the gelatin in the water. Let the mixture sit for couple minutes to bloom (absorb water). Once the mixture gels up, pop the bowl into the microwave for about 20 seconds (can vary based on your microwave). The gelatin should be warm and very fluid, but not too hot! Gently stir in a few drops of gel food coloring, being sure the gelatin is fully dissolved.

Using your fingers, gently roll balloon around in the gelatin, applying a thin and even coat of gelatin around the majority of the balloon. Gently rest balloon (with tie side down) on a cooling rack, and then dip 3 more balloons.  Once the first coat of gelatin is on, test the remaining gelatin for fluidity. I found that at this point my gelatin had generally cooled to a point where it was too thick and goopy. It didn’t evenly coat the balloon at all. After one coat, I needed to reheat my gelatin for about 5 seconds. I then re-dipped the balloons into the gelatin for second coat, using the same technique. I repeated this process and made two more batches of bubbles. Once the balloons had sat for about 30 minutes (I found they were had started to set by this point), I used a fan (on a low speed) to speed up the drying process. Be VERY careful when you do this. If your fan is too strong, it will blow your bubbles right off your counter!! I added some bowls on the sides and behind my cooling rack to ensure the bubbles stays in place.

My bubbles dried after about 4 hours, but without a fan they will need about 12 hours to harden.

NOTE: As the gelatin hardens, it will shrink. This will create loud, crackling sounds. At first I was convinced my bubbles were shattering, but was relieved to realize it just meant they were firming up quickly!

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Once the bubbles have hardened, use scissors to gently puncture the exposed balloon. Once it shrinks, you can easily loosen the balloon from the bubble, and remove it. If your bubbles collapse at all during this process, don’t worry! They are rather sturdy, and any indents can be popped back into place.

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Use scissors to trim away any jagged edges around the base of the bubble. Repeat with all balloons.

These can be made several days ahead of time, as this process is rather time consuming! The bubbles can be stored in a airtight container for several days. Here’s a shot of the cake I decorated with these bubbles! One the bubbles were try, it was very easy to place them on top of my cake.

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DISCLAIMER! I do not recommend actually eating the bubbles. Although they are edible, they don’t taste great (plain gelatin!!). As you make them, the distinct and unpleasant smell will indicate how they would taste. These are much more  of a decorative touch than an edible garnish.

 

Pastel Mermaid Tail Cake

Mermaids are definitely a big cake trend right now, and Cosmopolitan asked me to make a mermaid cake. The full video of this cake can be seen here. While there are a lot of different ways to make a mermaid cake, I think a mermaid tail is the most playful! Conveniently, it’s also the easiest!! My version of this cake was seven layers tall, but you could definitely scale this down to fewer layers. I used my go to vanilla cake batter and american buttercream recipe, listed below:

Vanilla Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 large egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

American Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 6 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Decorations:

  • light turquoise fondant
  • light blue fondant
  • light purple fondant
  • edible glitter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 7” round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds. Evenly divide that batter between three bowls, and color one light blue, one a light purple, and leave one uncolored (white).

Alternate cake batters (my color order blue, purple, white), and fill one 8 inch cake pan, two 7 inch cake pans, two 6 inch cake pans, and 2 four inch cake pans. I filled my cake pans about 1 inch full of batter. If you don’t have cake pans in those sizes, you can always make extra batter, and trim more cake away to get to the desired shape. For example, you could bake four 6 inch cake layers for the top of the cake, and trim away the top more.

Bake cake layers for 25-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. My 4 inch cake pans baked in about 25 minutes, and my 6 inch and 7 inch cake layers baked in about 32 minutes., and my 8 inch cake layer baked for about 35 minutes. Allow cake layers to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting! Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time). You can see a full tutorial on how to make this frosting here.

Assemble the cake layers largest to smallest, to build a cylindrical pyramid. Apply a thin layer of frosting between each layer with an offset spatula. Once all the cake layers are stacked, insert a tall wooden dowel into the cake layers. Place cake in freezer for about 5 minutes, to allow the cake to firm. Using a serrated knife, trim cake layers into the shape of a tail.

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Apply a crumb coat of white frosting, and then chill the cake in the freezer for another five minutes. Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, color the remaining frosting a light shade of turquoise. Apply a second layer of frosting, and smooth with a flexible smoother (bowl scraper or acetate sheet).

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Using turquoise fondant mixed with tylose powder, shape a large mermaid flipper. Insert wooden skewers into the tail to attach it to the cake. For the scales of the tail, use a 1.5 inch circle cookie cutter, and cut out several circles from all three colors of fondant. Once the tail is firm, insert it on top of the cake.

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Cover the cake in the circle scales, alternating all three colors, and working from top to bottom. Sprinkle edible gold dust onto the tail for an extra flourish of fun.I also used some leftover blue and white frosting to make waves around the base of the tail.

This cake requires a bit of work, but it’s totally worth it! It’s perfect for any mermaid fanatic, a kid’s birthday party, or if you just love pastels 🙂

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Ombre Pink Ruffle Confetti Cake

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This month I made an ombre, pink ruffle, confetti cake!! Try saying that ten times fast 😛 This cake was for Cosmopolitan, and the full video of it can be seen here. The YouTube tutorial can also be seen here.

I used my go to vanilla cake batter and american buttercream recipe, and filled the center with my favorite sprinkles!! I used a combination of sprinkles from Neon Yolk, Fancy Sprinkles, and Bakery Bling.

Vanilla Cake Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 large egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil

American Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 6 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 7” round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds. Evenly divide that batter between four bowls, and color in deepening shades of pink with gel good coloring, from light pink to dark pink.

Pour one color of batter into each prepared cake pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting! Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Once the cake layers have cooled, use a 2.5 inch circle cookie cutter to  cut out the center of the two cake layers you plan to put as the 2nd and 3rd layer of your cake. Use your darkest, uncut cake layer for the base. Frosting with buttercream, then stack and frost both cut cake layers on top.

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Fill the center fully with sprinkles, then top with the lightest pink, non-cut cake layer. Apply a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat), and place in freezer to chill for 5 minutes. Once fully chilled and firm to the touch, apply a second layer of buttercream, and smooth with a bench scraper.

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Divide remaining frosting into four bowls, and color in the same ombre pink colors as your cake layers. Using a wilton 104 tip with the widest part of the tip closest to the cake, pipe ombre ruffles around the entire cake. Start at the base with the darkest pink, and work up to the top of the cake, using the lightest pink frosting at the top of the cake.

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And TAH DAH!! Now  gather everyone around, and cut into the cake!! It’s quite a show, and also may cover you counter with sprinkles 😛

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The Best Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

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My go to chocolate cake recipe is actually a modification of my favorite vanilla cake recipe! It’s delicious, moist, and best of all, it keeps its shape! The layers bake with smooth sides that are perfect for stacking and frosting. Another perk is that it can be made in one bowl! That’s right, ONE BOWL!!! The recipe is adapted from Kara’s Couture Cakes, and can be found below:

Chocolate Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups (320 grams) flour
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups (600 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (13 grams) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 grams) salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or 2 sticks (454 grams), room temperature
  • 2 tsp. (9 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup egg whites (244 grams) – about 7 large egg whites; I use egg whites from the carton to avoid wasting egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 grams) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp instant espresso (or coffee), dissolved in 1 tbsp of hot water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line four 7” round pans.

Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer on low (with a paddle), until fully combined.

Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla, espresso, and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium high for about 30 seconds.

Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.

To accelerate the cooling process, I like to pop my cake layers in the freezer once I’ve removed them from the cake pans.

Below is a cross section shot of this cake recipe! You can see how moist it is, and also how well the layers hold their shape when stacked!! This peppermint mocha cake is from I live stream I did with Food Network back in December.

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