To make these vegan, just replace the egg whites with aquafaba (the liquid from tinned chickpeas). Vegan meringues are better baked until completely dry in the centre. They are prone to getting sticky on the outside when exposed to humidity. You can always dry them out again in a low oven.

Makes: one tray of meringues

For the meringue:
120g egg whites (or aquafaba)
Pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
180g caster sugar

Plus:
Orange, green, red and black gel food dyes (or use your favourite colours)
Edible glue (or a paste made of icing sugar and water)
Edible eyes and sprinkles

Add the egg white or aquafaba to a stand mixer bowl (you could use an electric whisk, but you will be whisking for a long time). Mix on high speed until you have soft peaks, whisk in the cream of tartar, then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking for about 30 seconds to a minute after each addition. It is important to add the sugar very slowly so that it all dissolves.

When all the sugar has incorporated (the mixture should feel smooth between your fingers), divide the meringue between different bowls depending on how many colours you want to make. Stir the gel food dye into each bowl until evenly distributed.

For the pumpkins, slip a piping nozzle with lots of open teeth into your piping bag before spooning in orange-coloured meringue. When you pipe, it will look like the ridges on a pumpkin. Pipe a small amount of green meringue for the stalk (just snip the end of a piping bag for this). For the ghosts, fill a piping bag with white meringue (you can use other colours, too), cut a medium tip and pipe meringue kisses. You can also use your fingers to pinch the sides to create little arms, or pipe on little arms. For the tall ghosts with a rippled effect, alternate between squeezing and stopping squeezing your piping bag while working your way upwards. Play about with other shapes and effects.

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Bake for 45-60min at 120C (100C fan)/250F/gas mark ½ for meringues that are gooey in the centre. For completely crisp and dry meringues, bake for 1hr 30min and then switch off the oven and leave the oven door closed for a few hours.

To decorate, use red gel food dye for blood (you can thin this with a little water) and black gel food dye for other details. Use edible glue to stick on edible eyes and sprinkles (eg bones).



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