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Chocolate Lava Cake (Molten Chocolate Cake)

Easiest and Best Chocolate Lava Cake | recipe from runawayrice.com

Chocolate Lava Cake is a deliciously decadent dessert that seems complicated but is really easy to make at home. This recipe makes the fancy restaurant-quality dessert with the lava flowing from a rich ganache center instead of undercooked cake. The results are a rich and gooey chocolate center enrobed in a moist and airy cake. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is the perfect treat to pamper your special someone. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Either heavy whipping cream or regular whipping cream will work in this recipe. Don’t substitute with anything other than whipping cream as the high fat content is needed for the ganache.

When using the double-boiler method, make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the hot water. Leave a gap of about 1-inch.

When adding the chocolate sauce to the batter, avoid over-mixing as this will deflate the eggs. Use the Lowest speed on the stand mixer. Optionally, fold the chocolate sauce into the batter by hand.

The batter can be made ahead and frozen for up to a week. Thaw the batter to room temperature and then bake. This is perfect if you don’t need (or want to eat) 6 cakes 🙂 !

Use bittersweet chocolate with 60% cacao for the best chocolate flavor.

To give the cakes a kick, add 1/4 tsp instant coffee. It subtly perks up the chocolate flavor and is so scrumptious.

Baked Chocolate Lava Cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, warm in the microwave for 1 minute.

This recipe yields 6 cakes using 6 oz ramekins. Optionally, make 12 cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes for 10-12 minutes.

These cakes are best served warm. Let cool for 5 minutes after removing from the oven. Plate and then serve.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this video, you may also like: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Flan Cake and Cream Puffs (Banh Choux/Banh Su Kem).

Ingredients

6 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (approximately 1 cup)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp vegetable oil (for rolling ganache)
non-stick baking spray

Garnish
powdered sugar, fresh berries, mint and whipped cream

Directions

Fill a small saucepan with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil over High heat and then reduce the heat to Low. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the saucepan. Add 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (approximately 1/3 cup) and the heavy whipping cream. Melt the chocolate and stir together making a smooth chocolate sauce. (This takes about 3 minutes.) Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Scrap around the bowl and push the chocolate to the center. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and chill the ganache for 2 hours.

Scoop out heaping spoonfuls of the ganache into 6 equal portions. (Each portion is about a heaping 1/2 Tbsp or approximately .6 oz.) Oil your palms with the vegetable oil. Roll each ganache portion into a rough ball. Set aside for now.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the butter into thin slices. In a heat-proof bowl add the butter and remaining chocolate chips. Use the double-boiler method to melt the butter and chocolate. Stir frequently and cook until the sauce is smooth, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for now.

In a stand mixer, add the eggs, vanilla extract and sugar. Using the whisk attachment, beat on High speed for 5 minutes until the mixture is light yellow and fluffy.

Sift cake flour into the mixture. Using the flat beater attachment mix on Low speed until the flour is mostly combined. Slowly add in the chocolate sauce. Mix just until the chocolate is incorporated, approximately 1 minute. Avoid over-mixing as this will deflate the fluffy eggs.

Coat the ramekins with the non-stick baking spray.

Scoop the batter into the ramekins filling about halfway. Reserve 3 Tbsp batter for later. Center the ganache balls and place on top of the batter. Spoon the remaining batter on top of the ganache.

Place into the oven and bake for 13-14 minutes. The cakes should be soft and springy to the touch. Let the cakes cool for 5 minutes.

Remove the cake by inverting the ramekin onto the plate. Dust the cake with powdered sugar. Add fresh berries and garnish with mint. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Yields: 6 cakes

Recipe adapted from Ghirardelli.

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Valentine's Day Chocolate Lava Cake | recipe from runawayrice.comSuper Delicious Chocolate Lava Cake | recipe from runawayrice.com*This post contains affiliate links.*

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How to Roast Sesame Seeds

How to Roast Sesame Seeds | recipe from runawayrice.com

Roasted sesame seeds are essential ingredients in many recipes and they are so easy to make. Skip the store-bought variety that’s been sitting on the shelf for eons. It takes just minutes to make roasted sesame seeds at home. Enjoy delicately nutty, nutrient-dense and aromatic roasted seeds as toppings for noodles, salads and desserts or as ingredients in your favorite recipes. Give it a try!

Check out the below recipes using Roasted Sesame Seeds:

Sweet and Salty Sesame Peanut Topping (Muoi Me Dau Phong)

Mooncakes with Coconut Filling (Banh Trung Thu / Banh Nuong Nhan Dua)

Peanut Candy (Keo Dau Phong)

Chewy Sesame Peanut Candy (Keo Me Dau Phong)

Ingredients

1/2 cup raw white sesame seeds

Directions

Method 1: Cooking in Skillet

Put the sesame seeds into a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water washing away any dust or grit. Toss gently to remove any remaining water.

Transfer the sesame seeds to a skillet. Cook over Medium Low heat stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes or until the sesame seeds are lightly golden.

Transfer to a plate and allow to cool for a 10 minutes.

Store in an air-tight container. The roasted sesame seeds are good for up to 6 months.

How to Roast Sesame Seeds | recipe from runawayrice.com

How to Roast Sesame Seeds | recipe from runawayrice.com

Method 2: Toasting in an Oven

After washing the sesames seeds, transfer to a cookie sheet and spread out into a thin layer.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. Stir the sesame seeds every 5 minutes for even toasting.

Watch the seeds carefully around the 12 minute mark as seeds can turn brown and burn very quickly.

Toasted Sesame Seeds | recipe from runawayrice.com

Yields: 1/2 cup

How to Roast Sesame Seeds | recipe from runawayrice.com

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

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Square Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Chung)

Scrumptious Tet/Lunar New Year Dish: Square Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Chung) | recipe from runawayrice.comVietnamese Lunar New Year wouldn’t be complete without these savory cakes made of a mung bean and pork filling encased in sticky rice. Often wrapped in banana leaves and artfully tied with colorful string, these hearty cakes have a distinct square shape and festive appeal. The banana leaves impart a wonderful aroma and lovely color to the rice making this cake pleasing to all the senses. The making of these cakes is a labor of love. Yes, they are time-consuming to make and there aren’t many shortcuts but, the effort is all worth it. You’ll love the artistry involved and your family and friends will surely appreciate your efforts. Give it a try friends. Happy Lunar New Year!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

For the card stock, I used a manila folder.

You can make the 4″ square form using cardboard or purchase a 4-inch square box from your office supply store and then cut to size.

The food mold/cutter used to make the filling should be between 3 1/2 – 3 3/4-inches. You can make one of these using cardboard or use anything close in size, like food storage containers.

When selecting banana leaves, choose sections with the spine. This will give the leaf more support and structure. When cutting the leaves with the 8-inch by 9-inch template, include the spine in the 8″ length.

When folding the banana leaves, keep the following rule in mind: For the first 2 leaves, put the shiny, darker green side facing out. This will make the cakes look prettier. For the remaining 2 leaves, have the shiny, darker green sides facing in so the lovely essence is imparted into the rice.

When making the filling squares, if the mashed mung bean is too crumbly, pop in the microwave for 30 seconds and it will be more spreadable.

Keep the filling in the freezer until you’re ready to use. When wrapping the cakes, I take out one filling piece at a time. They’re easier to work with when they are frozen.

I recommend using a fattier cut of pork in this recipe. The fat melts off during cooking and seeps into the rice making it really tasty.

Use a small spatula or butter knife to push the rice evenly to the corners. This will help to make the cake look square.

Avoid tying the string to tightly–just enough to hold everything together. Leave room for the glutinous rice to expand.

Don’t use too much weight when pressing the cakes. This will cause the sides of the cake to balloon and the cake won’t be square.

If banana leaves are difficult to find, substitute with bamboo leaves or corn husks. Optionally, you can wrap with parchment paper or foil. If you can find small amounts of banana leaves, line the parchment paper with a few pieces and this will impart the lovely banana leaf essence into the cake.

An alternative to pressure cooking is boiling on the stove. Boil using Medium Low heat for 4 hours. Make sure the cakes are completely submerged in water during the entire cooking process. Use a heavy bowl or plate to weight it down. Also, check the water levels every hour and add boiling water as needed. Never add cold water to the pot. This makes the glutinous rice hard and will ruin the cake.

After the cakes are pressed, wrap each cake with plastic wrap to prevent the banana leaves from drying out. The cakes can be kept a room temperature for 1-2 days. Refrigerate any remaining portions and enjoy within the week. Freeze the whole cakes (still wrapped in banana leaves) for up to 6 months.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like: Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Tet) and Sticky Rice Coated with Mung Bean (Xoi Vo).

Ingredients

3 cups long-grained glutinous rice (also called sweet or sticky rice)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 lb pork butt
2 shallots
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

2-16 oz packages banana leaves, cleaned

Other Materials
8-inch X 9-inch piece of card stock
4-inch X 4-inch piece of card stock
2-inch X 10-inch piece of card stock
3 3/4-inch square food mold
4-8 foot length string or twine
foil, plastic wrap
ruler

Directions

Use the 8-inch X 9-inch template to cut out 16 sheets of banana leaf. Use the 4-inch X 4-inch template to cut out 4 pieces of banana leaf. Use the 2-inch X 10-inch to cut out 8 strips of banana leaf.

Cut the pork into 1/2-inch thick slices and then cut into smaller pieces.

Peel and chop the shallots. Add the shallots into a bowl along with the sugar, fish sauce, and black pepper.  Stir together. Add the pork and combine well. Cover the bowl and then refrigerate overnight.

Wash the mung bean by swirling in a bowl of cold water and then drain the rinse water. Repeat 2 more times or until the water is mostly clear. Fill the bowl with cold water and let the beans soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Wash the glutinous rice by swirling in a bowl of cold water and then drain the rinse water. Repeat 2 more times or until the water is mostly clear. Fill the bowl with cold water and let the rice soak overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Rinse the mung bean one more time and then drain well. Transfer to a rice cooker. Add 1/2 tsp salt and the water. Spread out the beans into an even layer. Set to Cook. When the rice cooker switches over to the Keep Warm function, approximately 20 minutes later, mash the mung bean using a paddle spoon. Transfer the mashed mung bean onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into an 8-inch long log. Measure and cut into 8, 1-inch pieces.

Cover the work surface with a piece of plastic wrap. Place a piece of the mashed mung bean into the food mold and spread out so it’s flat. Add 4 oz marinated pork on top of the mung bean. Add another piece of mashed mung bean on top of the pork and spread out covering the pork and filling out the mold. Remove the mold. Wrap the filling in plastic wrap. Repeat these steps to make the remaining 3 fillings. Place the filling in the freezer.

Drain the glutinous rice using a colander. Gently toss the rice to remove the remaining water. Add 1 tsp salt and combine. Divide the rice into 4 equal portions.

Fold the banana leaves (as shown in the video) and arrange in the 4-inch cardboard form. Add a heaping 1/3 cup rice. Smooth out the rice so it covers the bottom completely. Add the mung bean and pork filling. Add another heaping 1/3 cup rice. Push the rice to the sides around the filling. Tap the sides to settle the rice. Add the remaining rice and smooth out the top. Add the remaining banana leaf square on top of the rice. Fold down the leaves as you would a present. Tie the cake using the string. (See video for demonstration.) Repeat these steps to make the remaining 3 cakes.

Wrap the cakes in foil. Place the cakes into a pressure cooker.  Fill the cooker to the maximum line with boiling water. Cover with the lid. Set to High Pressure cook for 90 minutes. After the high pressure cook is completed, allow the cakes to continue cooking using the Keep Warm function for another 90 minutes.

Pour out the hot water from the cooker and fill with cold water. Let the cakes soak for 10 minutes.

Unwrap the foil and transfer the cakes to a bowl of cold water. Gently rinse the cakes and then pat dry.

Cover a baking dish with a towel and place the cakes inside. Cover the cakes with another towel. Place a cutting board on top and then place 2-4 lb bags of sugar on top. Press the cakes for 6-8 hours.

To serve, unwrap the cakes and discard the banana leaves. Cut the cake using twine. (See the video for a demonstration.)

Enjoy the Square Sticky Rice ad Mung Bean Cakes with Dried Carrot and Radish Pickles. They go together wonderfully!

Yields: 4 cakes

Scrumptious Sticky Rice Cakes with Mung Bean and Pork (Banh Chung) | recipe from runawayrice.com

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Check out the below posts for more Lunar New Year’s dishes:

Steamed Rice Cakes and Pork Roll (Banh Day)

Jellied Pork (Thịt Đông)

Pickled Mustard Greens (Dua Cai Chua)

Chewy Sesame Peanut Candy (Keo Me Dau Phong)

Candied Orange Peels (Mut Vo Cam)

Sticky Rice Balls in Ginger Syrup (Che Troi Nuoc)

Must-Have for Lunar New Year-Square Sticky Rice and Mung Bean Cakes (Banh Chung) | recipe from runawayrice.com
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Candied Orange Peels (Mut Vo Cam)

Healthy Snacking! Candied Orange Peels (Mut Vo Cam) | recipe from runawayrice.comCandied Orange Peels are confections that are a tantalizing combination of sweet and bitter. Orange peels definitely have a bite but when combined with a sugar syrup, the pairing works amazingly well. It’s a decadent sweet treat that is all-natural with just 2 ingredients: fresh oranges and sugar. Did you know orange peels have lots of vitamins and minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamins A, B and dietary fiber? Don’t throw away these enriched rinds. Use them in this super-easy recipe to  make this delicious sweet treat!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Oranges with a thicker skin like navel oranges work really well in this recipe.

I prefer organic oranges for this recipe as they are pesticide-free. Be sure to wash well or use a fruit and vegetable wash for good measure.

3 large oranges yield approximately 6-7 oz of orange peels. After cooking, you’ll have approximately 8-9 oz of candy.

The rule of thumb is 1/4 cup sugar per 1 large orange. If you would like the candy sweeter, add more sugar.

Be sure to cook the orange peels until they are completely dry. Otherwise they may become moist during storage. If this happens, cook again over Low heat until completely dry.

Store in an air-tight container. The Candied Orange Peels should keep for up to 1 month.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Peanut Candy (Keo Dau Phong) and Chewy Sesame Peanut Candy (Keo Me Dau Phong).

Ingredients

3 large organic navel oranges, approximately 1 1/2 lbs
3/4 cup sugar

Directions

Wash oranges thoroughly using warm water. Pat dry using a kitchen towel.

Cut off the ends using a paring knife. Score the orange cutting just the skin. Continue making vertical cuts around the orange cutting each section about 1-inch wide. Remove the orange peel following the cut lines. Optionally, cut away some of the pith. Cut the peel into thin strips about 1/4-inch wide.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the orange peels and swirl in the boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer the peels to a bowl of ice water. Let soak for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and toss a few times to remove any remaining water. Place the peels between paper towels and blot dry.

Transfer the peels to a large bowl and add the sugar. Combine together and making sure the peels are evenly coated with sugar. Let rest for 1 hour.

Transfer the peels and syrup into a large skillet. Bring the syrup to a boil over High heat (approximately 2-3 minutes) and then reduce the heat to Low. Stir every 2-3 minutes to keep the syrup from burning. Slowly cook-off the syrup. (This takes approximately 15 minutes.)

When the sugar starts to recrystallize, stir more frequently to keep the sugar from burning. (This is about 20 minutes into the cooking process.) When the peels are completely dry and the pieces no longer stick together, turn off the heat. (Total cooking time is about 25 minutes.)

Transfer the peels to a wire rack and allow to cool for 20 minutes before enjoying.

Yields: 3-4 servings, approximately 8 oz candy

Easy-to-Make Sweet Treat: Candied Orange Peels (Mut Vo Cam) | recipe from runawayrice.comTools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

 

For an even more decadent treat, dip the Candied Orange Peels in dark chocolate.

So Decadent! Chocolate-Dipped Candied Orange Peels | recipe from runawayrice.comHere’s what you’ll need: 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips.

Using a double-boiler over Medium Low heat, melt the chocolate chips until you have a smooth and creamy sauce. Reduce the heat to Low. Dip the candy in the chocolate sauce and swirl to coat it evenly. Place the dipped peel on a piece of parchment paper. Continue dipping until all peels are done. Occasionally stir the chocolate sauce. Allow to cool for 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.

AMAZING Candied Orange Peels Dipped in Dark Chocolate | recipe from runawayrice.com

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Asian-Style Stuffed Cornish Game Hens

Asian-Style Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Bean Thread Noodle Stuffing--Savory, A Tad Sweet and So Juicy!| recipe from runawayrice.comTasty Cornish game hens are marinated with a sweet and savory Asian sauce, stuffed with a bean thread noodle, pork and vegetable medley and then roasted to juicy perfection in this mouth-watering dish. Say “Goodbye” to plain and boring chicken and “Hello” to this scrumptious dish bursting with Asian flavors and eye-popping appeal. This easy-to-make dish is perfect year-round and can be the main feature for a casual, every-day meal or an elegant dining affair. Give it a try!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

If hens are frozen, thaw completely before using. Partially frozen hens will increase the roasting time.

The typical roasting time for a Cornish game hen weighing approximately 1 1/4 lbs is about 1 hour. Increase the roasting time accordingly if the hens weigh more. To check to make sure the meat is sufficiently cooked, cut into the leg and the juices should run clear. If juices are pink, roast for awhile longer and then check again. Using an instant-read thermometer, the meat should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Be sure to remove the hens from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before roasting to allow the meat to de-chill.

Typically one game hen is served per person but if the hens are larger, they can be split in half.

Refrigerate any uneaten amounts. Stuffed hens can be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve again, allow to thaw to room temperature and then bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until hot.

Watch the video for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: 5-Spice Beer Can Chicken (Ga Nuong Ngu Vi Huong), Roast Duck (Vit Quay) and Crispy Roast Pork (Thit Heo Quay).

Ingredients

4 Cornish game hens (approximately 1 1/4 lb each)
1/4 cup salt (for washing the hens)
4 garlic cloves (use in Marinade and Stuffing below)
1-inch knub ginger (use in Marinade below)
1 small shallot (use in Marinade and Stuffing below)
2 Tbsp butter, softened

Marinade
2 1/4 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup plum sauce
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp Vodka 5-Spice Marinade
or 1 tsp 5-spice powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp dried sweet basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Stuffing
1.75 oz bean thread noodle
4 oz ground pork
3/4 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 small carrot
1 small celery stalk
1/4 small onion
2 oz enoki mushrooms
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Smash the garlic cloves, remove the skin and then mince. Remove the skin from the shallot and then chop. Cut off the skin from the ginger and then mince.

In a measuring cup, add all of the Marinade ingredients and then stir together combining well.

Sprinkle the hens with salt, both front and back sides. Gently rub the salt into the skin. Wash off the salt and each hen by placing under cold running water. Rinse the inside of each bird as well. Use paper towels to dry the outside and inside of the hens completely. Trim off any visible fat and cut-off the tails.

With the breast-side up, brush generous amounts of the marinade on to the chickens. Use a small spatula to separate the skin and breast. Brush more marinade into the two pockets. Flip the hens over and apply more of the marinade to the back side. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the marinade for later.  Cover the hens with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. For the best flavor, allow to marinate overnight.

Place the bean thread noodle into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and then toss the noodles to remove any remaining water. Cut noodles into shorter stands using scissors.

In a small bowl, combine the ground pork, chopped shallots, minced garlic, fish sauce and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper.  Allow to marinate while continuing with the next steps.

Peel the carrot and then dice. Cut the celery to the same size as the carrots. Finely chop the onion. Cut-off the root of the enoki mushrooms and discard. Cut the mushroom into thirds.

Heat a pan over Medium High heat and when hot add vegetable oil. Add the ground pork and stir-fry until it’s no longer pink, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the celery and onions, combine together and cook for another 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and bean thread noodle and toss together. Add the oyster sauce and combine. Continue stir-frying for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 1/8 tsp ground black pepper. Let the stuffing cool for 15 minutes.

Remove the hens from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place one of the hens upright in a small bowl. Add 3/4 cup stuffing into the body. Use a 16-inch section of string to tie the legs together. Place the hen on a wire baking rack set inside a baking sheet. Repeat the same steps for the remaining hens. Brush on the remaining marinade.

Cover the hens with foil. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 1 hour.

Check to make sure the hens are cooked by cutting into the meat and the juices should run clear or use an instant-read thermometer and it should register at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coat the hens with a generous amount of butter. Return the hens to the oven (uncovered) and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes to seal in the juices.

Serve with your favorite sides!

Yields: 4-6 servings

Looking for side dishes to serve with this tasty dish? Check out the following recipes:

Baked Bean Thread Noodles with Crab (Mien Xao Cua Dut Lo)
Sticky Rice Stuffing
Sautéed Summer Corn and Fresh Shrimp (Bap Xao Tom)

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Asian Flair: Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Bean Thread Noodle Stuffing--Savory, A Tad Sweet and So Juicy!| recipe from runawayrice.com

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