ROSALINA & LUMA - Galactic Rock Candy Macarons
Updated: Jul 26, 2021
My instant thought for a recipe based on Rosalina & Luma was "Galaxy Macarons," a baking trend that has been popular in recent years. These macarons are made with multiple colors of batter - jet black swirled with deep blues or purples - to resemble the depths of space! I thought this would be a perfect fit for the gorgeous space aesthetic of Rosalina and Super Mario Galaxy. Macarons are also a dainty and delicate dessert perfect for the serene queen of space!
I also wanted to specifically represent the Lumas by including a nod to Star Bits. It just so happens that Star Bits are based on a real-life food - the classic Japanese confectionary, Konpeitō! Making Konpeitō at home is pretty much impossible, so I decided to make the best approximation that would be accessible to home cooks... hard rock candy! In Rosalina's Storybook, Star Bits are said to taste like honey, so I made some honey-flavored rock candy to crush up and sprinkle in the macarons.
I took further inspiration from Rosalina's Storybook when coming up with the filling for these macarons. Throughout her childhood journey through space, the young Rosalina enjoyed bread with jam and apricot tea. So, sandwiched between these delicious macarons is an Earl Gray tea flavored buttercream frosting, and just a hint of apricot jelly! But really, you can fill these with whatever you want - plain ol' vanilla icing will still taste great!
Fair warning: macarons are notoriously hard to make. A traditional macaron recipe requires precise measurements (I recommend weighing all of the ingredients rather than going by cups or measuring spoons), as well as a specific technique and a lot of patience to pull off the right meringue texture. But don't let the difficulty scare you off from trying, however! I subscribe to Adam Ragusea's philosophy: they don't need to be aesthetically "perfect" to be a great macaron! It doesn't matter if they are lumpy or cracked, as long as they taste good!
Honey Rock Candy:
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
½ cups light corn syrup
⅓ cup honey
½ cup water
A small pinch of salt
1 tsp food coloring of your choice
Plenty of confectioners' sugar, for lining tray
200g powdered sugar
120g almond flour
3 egg whites, room temperature
50g granulated sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Black, blue, and white gel dyes (it is very important that you use gel, not liquid, food dye)
Apricot & Tea Filling:
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp loose-leaf Earl Gray tea
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp food dye of your choice
For rock candy:
Line a baking tray with tinfoil and generously cover with powdered sugar. This will ensure the candy does not stick.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water in a medium pot. Simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
Stop stirring and bring to a boil until a candy thermometer registers 300°F. Once this temperature is reached, remove from heat, stir in salt and food dye, and pour in a thin layer onto the prepared tray. Allow to cool and harden.
Once hardened, remove from tray and break into more manageable pieces. Shake off excess powdered sugar, and crush into small pieces (think Pop Rocks size) with a rolling pin or kitchen mallet. Set aside. (Hold onto that leftover powdered sugar to use in the frosting!)
In a small saucepan, gently heat butter until melted. Add earl gray tea leaves and steep over low heat for about 5 minutes, until very fragrant and floral. Strain butter through a fine mesh sieve to remove tea leaves, then refrigerate until the butter re-solidifies (its okay if its still a little soft).
Whip the tea-infused butter with milk, vanilla extract, and 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in a few drops of dye (I went for a greenish pastel blue to match Rosalina's dress!) Set aside.
Sift together almond flour and powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add granulated sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Continue to whip until it forms very stiff peaks.
Fold the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture, very gently, in three increments.
Once smooth and cohesive, separate one third of the mixture into a separate bowl. Add a small amount of black food dye to the larger amount, anywhere from ⅛ to ½ a teaspoon depending on how dark you want to color to be. Do the same with blue food dye for the smaller portion. Gently fold the dye in, taking care not to deflate the meringue.
Prepare a piping bag with a medium round tip. Place upright in a cup to make it easier to add batter. Drizzle the blue batter down one side of the piping bag. Carefully add the black batter on the other side, taking care not to blend the two colors too much.
Pipe onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet: hold the piping bag vertically, squeeze from the top, swirling gently, about an inch in diameter. Use a printable macaron template underneath the parchment if you need to (just be sure to remove the paper before baking!)
Firmly tap the tray against the countertop to pop any internal air bubbles, and pop any large bubbles on the surface with a toothpick.
Add a “starry” effect by diluting a bit of white gel dye into 1 tbsp of water and using a paintbrush to flick droplets onto the macarons.
Allow to sit at room temperature to dry out, about half an hour, until a distinct "shell" forms on the surface (you should be able to gently touch them without getting any residue on your finger). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°.
Bake macarons in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Pipe a thin circle of frosting on one macaron half. Add a small dollop of apricot preserves in the centre, sprinkle with a pinch of the crushed honey candies, then sandwich with another macaron half. Refrigerate until ready to serve - they taste better if you let them chill for at least an hour first!