Baking | Swedish Prinsesstårta Cupcakes … Daring Bakers serve up royally delicious cakes!

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C.

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes Swedish Prinsesstårta Cupcakes … the best BEST cake we’ve eaten of late. Perfect balance of flavours, moist, flavourful, addictive good, non chocolate … PERFECT! It’s been a while since I enjoyed a Daring Bakers challenge so immensely. Everything was good about it. I have to admit that I veered off the basic recipe … but need to blame the treacherous North Indian summer for that!!

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes Come May and I got a very excited call from local DB Ruchira. “Guess what the challenge is? A Princess Cake! Wheee… I love it!I was equally thrilled. A Princess cake is junior teens most favourite cake of all time. Years ago I did a recipe testing for Helene of Tartlette which included a Bavarian cream. That was a princess cake of sorts.

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes To date, it’s been the best ever cake for the kidlet. He repeatedly tells me how good ‘that Bavarian cream‘ was! Talk about love for food and good taste. Everything Helene does has the midas touch. The months challenge was partly inspired by her recipe.

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes

Korena of Korena in the Kitchen was our May Daring Bakers’ host and she delighted us with this beautiful Swedish Prinsesstårta!

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes

A little research revealed that the original recipe was created in the 1930s by a Swedish home economics teacher named Jenny Åkerström, who taught the three Swedish princesses of the time. She published a series of four cookbooks called “The Princess Cookbooks” and in one of the editions, there was a recipe for “Grön Tårta” (green cake). One story is that this later became known as “princess cake” (prinsesstårta) because the three princesses are said to have loved it so much. 

Another story is that Ms. Åkerström actually created three very elaborate “princess cake” recipes – a different one for each princess – and that the current version is a simplified combination of all three. That explains the princess connection, but the reason for the cake being green still seems to be a mystery. 

I got to the challenge very very late. It was the 25th already. And the weather? Hot as hot can be, threatening to get worse by the minute! It was 46C at 6pm day before. Fry the eggs on the sidewalk hot, maybe bake the poor princess there too! Plans for a Princess cake were rapidly demolished. Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes Yet I am very nostalgic about the Daring Bakers, a journey that has been long and fruitful. I have been with them for 5 years maybe, and it’s the only baking group I have continued with. I owe them most of what I’ve learnt. The journeys been full of ultimate highs, and a few heartbreaks too; entirely memorable.

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes Besides, the challenge this month was not just one of being a ‘baker‘. Bakers as you know double up quite often as patisserie chefs too. A finger in every pie, and so on! It was a test of skills at many different levels. I had to make something. That came by way of these sweet Princess Cupcakes that I’ve had bookmarked for years! {I baked the cupcakes the previous evening and completed them at the crack of dawn. You can find a few grainy pictures taken in a hurry to guide you through}

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes The components are quite the same. There is cake, pastry cream, whipped cream, jam and marzipan. A petite version in this blistering heat which hitting 48C is much easier to handle.  I had some balsamic cherries from the two ingredient dark chocolate mousse. Cherries make life a lot more worthwhile. 

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes The Swedish Prinsesstårta Cupcakes turned out excellent. The cupcakes are layered about the same way as you would a Swedish Prinsesstårta. In 20 minutes, spared of a power cut, I was past stage one. Cupcakes done! While they baked, the pastry cream was stirred in the Thermomix. 7 minutes to perfect pastry cream!

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes I made the pastry cream a little thicker as it’s so hot. I didn’t get to the marzipan though I have made it several times in the past. It was far too hot to attempt marzipan from scratch. A special gift from my dear friend and Daring Baker Finla came to my rescue. She sent me marzipan with a truckload of stuff a few months ago. I use it very sparingly and was thrilled to have some on hand for the princess cupcakes.

Swedish Prinsesstårta, princess cupcakes This was the best part! Such fun dressing the little ones up. I did the flowers and leaves out of trimmings and it reminded me of my first and only fondant cake, the Tea Rose Fondant Cake, I made a while ago. The cupcakes were patched together on fast track as everything threatened to melt. The end result isn’t as neat as I would have liked it to be, but the marzipan was going too soft.

Thank you Korena was such a beautiful and eye opening challenge. I intend to make the priginal Swedish Prinsesstårta once the weather gets cooler.  Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here and check out some more royalty!



Recipe: Swedish Prinsesstårta Cupcakes  your picture

Summary: Swedish Prinsesstårta Cupcakes… the best BEST cake we’ve eaten of late. Perfect balance of flavours, moist, flavourful, addictive good, non chocolate … PERFECT! Recipe adapted from The Cookie Shop. Makes 5 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Cupcakes {can be made up to 2 days ahead}
  • 100g all purpose flour
  • 85g sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g – room temp. and cut in pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 80g milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Pastry Cream {can be made 1 day ahead. Only less than half quantity needed}
  • 200ml low fat/single cream
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 50g sugar
  • 12g cornstarch
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 20g butter
  • Filling
  • 1/2  recipe pastry cream
  • 200ml low fat cream chilled
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • Rum syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rum
  • For assembling
  • 5 vanilla cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup pastry cream
  • sugar syrup
  • low fat cream, chilled
  • 1/2 cup balsamic cherries {1/2 portion chopped fine}
  • 300g marzipan approx
  • food coloring
  • confectioners sugar


  1. Vanilla cupcakes
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 5 cups of a muffin pan, or 5 individual muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. Place milk, egg and 1/2 scraped vanilla bean in a small bowl. Whisk to mix with fork.
  4. Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl of electric mixer and pulse to mix.
  5. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture and process briefly until it resembles coarse meal {the larger pieces should be the size of peas}.
  6. With the processor on medium speed, add the milk mixture in three additions, and beat only until incorporated.
  7. Distribute the batter evenly in the prepared tins.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cupcakes.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding with the assembling.
  9. Pastry cream
  10. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat milk and cream just until it simmers.
  11. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and sugar until light and fluffy. Add cornstarch and continue whisking until smooth.

  12. Slowly pour the hot milk/cream mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until completely smooth and free of lumps. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for another 2 minutes, or until it thickens. Remove from heat and add the butter, whisking well to incorporate.

  13. Thermomix : Place all ingredients in bowl of TM. Pulse at speed 6 to mix for 10 seconds. Then cook at speed 4, 90 C for 9 minutes.

  14. Remove the pastry cream to a bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  15. Syrup
  16. Place water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the rum if using. Let cool completely before using or refrigerating.
  17. Marzipan
  18. Divide the marzipan into 5 portions.
  19. Mix the marzipan with the 4 different coloring and knead until the color is uniform. Leave one natural off-white. If it gets sticky, sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar. Wrap with plastic.
  20. Assembling
  21. Cut off the domed tops of the cupcakes, and peel off thee liners.
  22. Invert cakes and cut into 3 layers.
  23. Whisk the cream and sugar until soft peaks form.
  24. Brush the layers with sugar syrup.
  25. Over removable bottoms of tartlet tins, start assembling the cupcake layers.
  26. first, a very thin layer of chopped balsamic cherries {or jam/preserve}
  27. over the jam, a teaspoon whipped cream;
  28. cake + syrup;
  29. a teaspoon of pastry cream;
  30. last layer of cake + syrup;
  31. Place a few cherries on top to help build the ‘dome’ if you like.
  32. Whip the remaining cream with the remaining pastry cream.
  33. Cover the whole cupcake with whipped pastry cream, trying to make the rounder the top you can. Refrigerate while you complete the next.
  34. Over a working surface, sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, roll out the marzipan.
  35. Put the rolled out marzipan over the cake making sure to cover the entire cake and cardboard. When finished, some marzipan should drape onto the work surface all around the cupcake. There will be folds on the sides. To remove them lift the outside edge of the marzipan with a hand on either side of a fold and, without tearing or stretching, gently pull the marzipan out and down until the fold disappears. {It was too hot for me to attempt this}. Trim any extra marzipan and reserve for flowers etc.
  36. Stamp out flowers, leaves and stems from the trimmed marzipan and place on cupcakes.
  37. Sift a little confectioner’s sugar over the cakes and transfer to the serving dishes or cake stand.
  38. Note: These are best eaten the same day they are assembled.


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No Bake | Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet & Mulberry Jam … In season with mulberries!

“I put everything I can into the mulberry of my mind and hope that it is going to ferment and make a decent wine. How that process happens, I’m sorry to tell you, I can’t describe.”
John Hurt

Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet & Mulberry Jam Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet & Mulberry Jam! Here we go round the mulberry bush tree, and looks like I’m going to stay right under it! We’re enjoying a very short and very sweet mulberry season. I feel so inspired! Seems like it’s going to be mulberries all the way.


Mulberries are actually a good source of raw food protein, a rarity in the fruit kingdom. They are also a good source of magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and fiber. One of the mulberry’s greatest health assets is it’s high concentration of resveratrol, an antioxidant currently being studied for its effects on heart health.

Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet 1The sudden mulberry distraction {maybe madness} arrived unannounced as usual. This post is more about the story around the fruit, than the sorbet or jam itself. The latter would barely spin a tale, though the sorbet recipe is a real winner!

Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet A large number of us joined the very large hearted and talented Neel at Learn Food Photography to polish our photography knowledge and skills. A few of you might know that I am still very lost about the technicalities behind the camera and am a compulsive auto shooter.

Learning food photography...So thanks to this 30 day exercise, we are down almost 3 weeks doing what we like to do best. That includes virtually meeting and interacting with a huge like minded community. {The photograph below is one of my favourite shots from last week.}

Day 17 – Create Harmony and BalanceIn addition to some serious photog learning, the interactions are also a huge take away. It’s fascinating to see how food photography can reunite folk from India to Mexico!Mulberry Jam Together we’ve played with light, angles, DOF, backgrounds, props, diffusers and so much more. Maybe you can catch bits in my photographs. You can see the sorbet in many different hues, from an early morning shot, to a rather deep pink late evening one. An enriching experience!

Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet & Mulberry Jam 4It was on the forum that I chanced upon a photograph of mulberries that Ozan from Turkey shared. That made me sit up. What happened to our mulberry season? Why didn’t I remember? Man Friday was immediately summoned and commissioned with ‘the mulberry task’.

MulberriesHe never fails…never! He soon brought me a bag of pretty, juicy mulberries, sweet as sweet could be. Morning saw me stirring mulberry jam! Nothing to the recipe. Just the berries with equal sugar, a vanilla bean, a dash of lime juice.  I threw in some aged balsamic too. Simmered until soft over low heat, then cooked until it thickened somewhat. TADA! Jam! No pectin, nothing!

Mulberry Jam I get a HUGE bagful every alternate day. I’ve frozen some. Throw them into smoothies for the kids. A strawberry mulberry smoothie is beautiful. Then I wanted to make something I’ve waited long to  make, a buttermilk sorbet. I added some mulberries  instead of just a strawberry sorbet. Delightful!

Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet This mixed berry sorbet is light, refreshing, summery and beautiful! I shot it in many different ways in the ongoing LFP exercise. It included styling – napkins, garnish, Pinterest inspiration etc. I got some right shots, and some very wrong.  So much fun, and so much to learn.

Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet It was three days of ‘mulberry shots‘! Another huge bagful came in this morning so the head is buzzing with mulberry coloured thoughts again. Any recipe suggestions are more than welcome. Hopefully I’ll have another mulberry centric post out this month!

Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet Until then, please help yourself to really really refreshing and pretty Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet. The Mulberry Jam is quite sweet and makes for a nice addition in a berry dessert sauce, added to whipped cream into a fool, dolloped over breakfast cereal or slathered onto a warm buttery toast! I love cooking in season!


Recipe:Mulberry Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet 
your picture

Summary: Sweet, tangy, refreshing, light, the berry buttermilk sorbet is addictive good. Great way to use summer berries. Makes about 1 ltr.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 200g mulberries, frozen
  • 200g strawberries, frozen
  • 150g vanilla sugar
  • 2 tbsp kirsch
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 500ml buttermilk, frozen in ice cube tray {for Thermomix recipe}


  1. Thermomix
  2. Place all ingredients in bowl of TM and process at speed 10 for a minute at a time until pulverized to smooth consistency  Use TM scraper to scrape down sides now and then.
  3. Transfer to freezer safe bowl and freeze until desired {or serve immediately!}
  4. Ice cream maker
  5. Remove the stems of the mulberries if you like {I didn’t}
  6. Place all the ingredients in bowl of processor and blend well until smooth. Taste and adjust sugar if required.
  7. Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer instructions.

Recipe: Mulberry Jam
your picture

Summary: Sweet, simple and full of berry goodness, this is another great way to use the seasonal berry. Makes about 2 jars.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 500g mulberries
  • 500g sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. Pull out the stems of the mulberries.
  2. Place the berries  in a heavy bottom saucepan, crush them with the back of a spoon so that they release their juices. Bring to a simmering boil, then add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook to desired consistency, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer to sterilised jars. I refrigerated mine as I didn’t seal them.


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Baking | Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau with Crème Patisserie & Balsamic Vanilla Strawberries … my feature in Mail Today #mailtoday #thecocoatrees

“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”
Katharine Hepburn

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate GateauA Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Fallen Cake adapted minimally from an Alice Medrich recipe. This gateau is like an ugly duckling, almost flourless cake, which gets dressed up to go out. Reminds me of a shakespearean tragedy as it bakes ; the rise and then the tragic collapse. Left ‘undressed’, it’s a moorish, rustic sunken cake, beautiful in my eyes. Barely any flour makes this cake more special.

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau The Mail Today, a daily in India, invited me for a photoshoot with some selected women home bakers in the National Capital  Region. I was asked to carry something I baked for the shoot. It was a last minute thing, and I was all set to go out for an Old Delhi trek with my girlfriends, something we had long planned.

Old Delhi TrekConsidering I was the only ‘non commercial‘ home baker amidst all these very talented girls, the oldest among them too {dinosaur age…blah blah blah}, I thought I’d make something different. The Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau was it! It’s an adaptation of Alice Medrich’s earthy rustic style of baking. It really appeals to me.

Mail Today featureOne look and I thought it would be good; Alice Medrich never fails. Baked within an hour, it was done as I raced off to catch the metro into Delhi. On the train, I made mental plans on how to dress up the cake as I’d be home late, and the shoot was early the next morning. { Also made a teenie cake for home just we knew if it tasted alright}.

Balsamic Vanilla Basil StrawberriesI had a batch of crème patisserie in the fridge.  It’s always handy to have on hand. A L W A Y S! Fold in whipped cream to sandwich a cake with, pipe it into eclairs or profiteroles, serve it over cake or fruit, or then just make it into ice cream. So versatile, and so fun!

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau And there was also a nice little jar of balsamic vanilla basil strawberries in the fridge from the day I made Strawberry frozen yogurt. That would be UPLIFTING and would contrast nicely with the chocolate and crème patisserie. A few fresh strawberries on top, and a sprinkling of mint leaves and I knew I was set.

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau So simply constructed that I had time to spare the next morning. Thats when I got ambitious and made a dark chocolate lace border to embrace the cake. Once done, the hour drive into Delhi at 30C was not something I had taken into mind. Fortunately for me, the gateau survived.

At Shiro, Samrat, New Delhi. Mail Today shootMail Todays ‘femail magazine’ editor is the very young and sweet Lipla Negi. Bubbly, energetic, considerate she effortlessly brought the group together. We were meeting each other for the first time, and within half an hour had hit it off.

At Shiro, Samrat, New Delhi. Mail Today shoot It’s always nice to meet like minded folk. It doesn’t get better than a bunch of women home bakers I tell you! {The shoot took place at the beautiful Shiro, Samrat Hotel, New Delhi.With it’s signature high ceilings,  majestic statues, stone and water interiors, an aura of splendour hits you as you enter.}

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau As for my  Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau, it was special.  Bittersweet chocolate is my first love, and into this gateau went a beautiful Belgian dark 72% chocolate from The Cocoa Trees. It’s one of 40+ varieties of premium chocolates they have on offer. They sent me a variety of dark chocolates to sample – Chocoholic Dark, Belgian dark 72%, Fry Extra Dark 85%, Cadbury Old Gold Dark Original & Old Gold Dark Peppermint. Chocolate heaven I tell you.

The Cocoa Trees is a chocoholic’s dream come true offering over 40 plus varieties of international chocolate brands which include the fine cocoa filled mouse from Ritter Sport, dark smooth chocolate of Anthon Berg, the unmistakable heavenly crunch of Ferrero, chocolaty pralines from Sorini, and many more. The Cocoa TreesA Singapore based chocolate boutique store, The Cocoa Trees, offers a delicious spectrum of branded chocolates which cater to a variety of individual needs. Since its launch in 2011, the boutique store has expanded its presence with its launch of its two new stores at Nature’s Basket, Bandra and R City Mall, Ghatkopar. You can also find one at the Domestic Terminal {T3}, IGI Airport, New Delhi.

Each bar was of premium quality, and divinely delicious. The Cadbury’s Old Gold collection true to it’s name … exquisite. I enjoyed each one of them, deeply satisfying. I also enjoyed the quality it leant to my gateau. Your bake will only taste as good as what goes in.

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau Thank you The Cocoa Trees for sending me this fine selection of dark chocolates. The promise of dark chocolate marries really well with strawberries. The Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau reflects my love of baked desserts, bittersweet chocolate and including fruit in almost everything I do. Thank you Mail Today for the generous feature. Last but not the least, thank you Urban Dazzle for the Cake Plate. I love it and use it often!

[print_this]Recipe: Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau with Crème Patisserie & Balsamic Vanilla Strawberries 
your picture

Summary: This rustic Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau is given a charming uplift with a chocolate lace collar. Crème Patisserie & Balsamic Vanilla Strawberries complete the dramatic look to make the chocolate experience even more special. adapted minimally from an Alice Medrich recipe.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

  • Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau 
  • 100g bittersweet dark chocolate {72%}
  • 175g granulated sugar {divided 100g + 75g}
  • 120ml boiling water
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 25g plain flour
  • 30g almond meal
  • 15ml kirsch
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • Topping
  • 100g low fat cream, chilled
  • Few sprigs fresh mint
  • Dark chocolate shavings
  • Crème Patisserie {1/4 portion}
  • 200ml milk 2%
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 tbsp {10g} cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml low fat cream
  • Balsamic strawberries {1/4 portion}
  • 200g strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped {optional}
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar


  1. Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau
  2. Preheat oven to 190C. Line the bottom and sides of a 6″ or 7″ springform tin with baking parchment.
  3. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl with the cream of tartar and beat to soft peaks. Add 75g sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Reserve.
  4. Place the bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl and microwave for 1 minute to soften. Add the remaining 100g sugar and boiling water. Whisk until the chocolate has melted completely.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Add the cocoa powder, whisk in well.
  7. Now add the kirsch, almond meal and flour. Stir in to mix completely.
  8. Add 2-3 tbsps on the beaten whites to loosen the batter, then add the remaining beaten whites and fold in gently.
  9. Turn batter into prepared tin and bake for about 30-35 minutes {mine took about 45 minutes} until a tester inserted into the centre comes out moist with a few crumbs hanging.
  10. Cool completely in tin on rack.
  11. Gently demold and sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve with cream patisserie and balsamic strawberries if desired. 
  12. Crème Patisserie {can be made the day before}
  13. Bring the milk to a simmering boil. Reserve.
  14. Whisk the egg yolk and sugar with a wooden spoon in a big bowl until the mixture becomes pale and light. Stir in the flour slowly until it is thoroughly mixed with the egg mixture.
  15. Pour the boiling milk into the mixture a little by little while whisking continuously to avoid curdling. Then stir in the cream until the mixture is well combined.
  16. Transfer the whole mixture into a pot, with the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and heat it under low setting. Stir it constantly with the wooden spoon or spatula scraping the sides and bottom until it has thickened.
  17. Once the custard has thickened, take it off the heat, and strain / pour it into a clean bowl. Cool, cover  and chill.
  18. Whip the low fat cream to soft medium peaks. gently fold into chilled cream patisserie.
  19. Thermomix Recipe
  20. Place sugar and vanilla bean in TM bowl, and process for 30 seconds on speed 10. Add remaining ingredients, plus vanilla bean shell and cook on 90C/Speed 4 for 7 minutes {until thick}. Strain into a bowl immediately to cool. I chilled it overnight.
  21. Balsamic Strawberries
  22. Place all ingredients in saucepan and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the strawberries soften. Strain strawberries, transfer to bowl. Return syrup to pan and reduce to a thick syrup. Pour back over strawberries and cool completely. Can be stored in a jar in the fridge for 4-5 days.


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