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Tarek Husseini

Tarek Husseini, 13, is a 2019 contestant on "Kids Baking Championship." Courtesy of Food Network

And then there were four.

Tarek Husseini, the 13-year-old baker from Ladue, survived problems with time management to make it through another round of the "Kids Baking Championship," which airs on the Food Network.

Monday's challenge was to make a poke cake, a cake with holes in it that are filled with a filling. The cakes had to be decorated with a hedgehog — an adorable mammal that is not found in North America — and three edible, baked insects.

Tarek made a double chocolate cake with a strawberry-orange coulis and topped with dark chocolate ganache. He added a green buttercream icing to represent grass (the too-hot cake melted some of the icing, causing a few particularly nervous moments), and a hedgehog made from a dark chocolate and orange cake pop, with toasted almonds (he momentarily forgot about them, so they were a little over-toasted) representing the quills.

Judges Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli were impressed by the flavors and by how much filling they could taste in the holes. They also liked the fact that he made three different insects, a bumblebee, a ladybug and a caterpillar.

Only four contestants now remain on the show, which airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on the Food Network and is rebroadcast a few times throughout the week.

Daniel Neman is a food writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.