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HONG KONG (Reuters) - A bakery studio in Hong Kong is aiming to bounce back from its COVID-19 slump with "illusion cakes" that appear to be everyday objects until you take a slice.

Dear Harley Cake Studio's founders Alison Chan and Cony Lam came up with the idea after baking a custom cake for Chan's nephew, who loves bananas: a thin layer of yellow fondant wrapped around dark chocolate and Italian meringue butter cream.

Posting such creations on social media brought a new wave of customers to their shop, prompting them to switch the focus of their business to special orders and workshops for wannabe cake illusionists.

Now they can make-to-order cakes that look uncannily like almost anything, from a pair of flip-flops to sea-urchin sashimi or even a dish sponge.

"This illusion cake wave is ... kind of saving our business," Chan said.

From a crisis level of three-to-four weekly orders during March and April, the studio is now receiving 15-20 orders a week. An illusion cake costs at least HK$1,500 ($194), with some going for HK$12,000-HK$13,000.

“I’m personally super thrilled that we have reached this stage ... We never expected that this will blow up," Chan said.

"We were just making things that we love, we love baking, we love cake decorating, and we are just making things for fun.”

Customer Chase Ko attended one of Dear Harley Cake Studio's private classes to learn how to make custom cakes for her boyfriend's birthday.

"My boyfriend likes Japanese food and Pokemon a lot. Their sushi illusion cake is very cute so I want to design another version with dolls on top of the rice,” Ko said.

($1 = 7.7500 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Yoyo Chow; Editing by Marius Zaharia and Stephen Coates)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Leftists Blast Strobe Lights into Lindsey Graham’s Home to Try to Stop Ginsburg Replacement

Activists with the far-left groups ShutDown DC and the Sunrise Movement gathered early Monday morning at Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (D-SC) Washington, D.C., residence demanding that President Donald Trump and the Senate not try to fill the Supreme Court seat of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after the presidential election.

“DC residents will be fighting for their children and grandchildren early Monday morning, by insisting that Trump should not be allowed to fill his third lifelong Supreme Court appointment, tipping the court for generations,” a statement from the group said.

Metro police warn protestors they are in violation of the Residential Tranquility act. #getupdc @wusa9 #RBG

— Matt Gregory (@MattGregoryNews) September 21, 2020

Here is what is happening in front of Senator Lindsay Graham’s DC house-

— Matt Gregory (@MattGregoryNews) September 21, 2020

Street blocked in front of Sen. Graham’s house. #getupdc @wusa9 #RBG

— Matt Gregory (@MattGregoryNews) September 21, 2020

The D.C. CBS affiliate reported on the group’s targeting of Graham, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a residential neighborhood:

Capitol Police created a line on the sidewalk in front of Sen. Graham’s house. Some protesters were seen standing on Sen. Graham’s lawn chanting with bells and whistles. They even attempted to knock on the senator’s door and repeatedly played Sen. Graham’s 2016 quote on the Merrick Garland nomination.

“Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make the nomination,” the group said Sen. Graham stated in 2016 when talking about the case a vacancy occurs in the last year of a presidential term.

Ginsburg died on Friday at 87 from complications from pancreatic cancer. She was for decades the most predictable liberal vote on the High Court after her nomination for a seat by former President Bill Clinton.

Gingsburg was a liberal activist before becoming a justice, including a stint with the American Civil Liberties Union, and was comfortable continuing her activism while on the court, including officiating same-sex weddings.

Trump said he will probably release the name of a woman nominee late this week.

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