Having a bit more fun experimenting with this idea - it makes for some interesting images.
This one became my new desktop image - I started with one sphere which I quickly sculpted into an bumpy sphere, then duplicated it about 15 times with a some random scaling and rotating.
I then instance the geometry with a particle system attached to another sphere and with a bit of tweaking to the randomness of the rotation and scale I got the organic shape I was looking for.
I then applied Mental Rays fast skin shader and tweaked the colours and depth of the translucence. One light right in the middle of the shape and another just off screen to the right gave me the lighting i was looking for.
This one was very similar just distributed differently, I had to use 2 particle systems to get this shape