Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl.
Put the egg whites and vanilla
into a separate small bowl, and whisk very lightly for 30 seconds, or
until the mixture is lightly frothed and smooth, with no gloopy bits.
Make a well in the centre of the icing sugar, and add a tablespoon of
the egg white/vanilla mix.
Using a spoon, or your fingers, mix well,
adding a little more egg white as you go - less than a teaspoon at a
time - so that you end up with a rather stiff, but pliable, paste.
you add too much egg white, and the mixture seems too runny, sift some
more icing sugar into the bowl.
Tip the paste onto a board covered with a sheet of baking paper and
knead lightly with your fingertips for a minute.
Poke two holes, using a
fingertip, into the paste.
Add a few drops of different food colouring
to each hole.
Lightly knead the paste again, twisting and turning as you
go, to achieve a marbled effect.
If you don't want to stain your
fingers, wrap the paste in a big piece of clingfilm or put it in a
Make the meringues six at a time.
Pinch off pieces of the paste (the
size of a large marble) and place each one in a paper case.
with a little edible cake glitter, if you have it.
Cover the remaining
paste to prevent if from drying out.
Arrange the six paper cases in a
circle on the turntable of your microwave oven.
Set the time for two
minutes, on high, and press the start button.
Watch the meringues
closely as they cook: after 45 seconds or so, depending on the power of
your microwave, they will billow upwards with great flamboyance. Once
they've stopped billowing, cook them for another 30-40 seconds (again,
you will need to experiment here).
Remove from the oven and set aside
Makes about 40 meringues.
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