Let me just say that for years I have been attempting to learn how to make French macarons, the type I, and so many others first devoured at Laduree in Paris. They always, forever and without exception, failed. Anyway, I was doing my usual food-blog whoring around the other day and visited on of my favorite sites, Tartelette, and noticed that she had an excellent tutorial on how to make them here.
I do not think these are perfect (the little "feet" stick out, probably because the batter was just a tad too thin) but they are as close as I've ever gotten to the real thing. I filled them with the passionfruit curd I'd made yesterday, and aarrrrggghhhh.....my head is killing me from the sugar high.
I agree that this is probably more about technique than ingredients, since they consist solely of almonds, sugar and eggs. I know some people don't think it helps, but the big key here was to let the macarons dry out for an hour before baking. I also used egg whites that were a few days old, out of their shells.
My inner pastry chef loves when something a little exotic comes out of my kitchen. Which is to say, these are perfect for days when Durham is nice, but Paris is just so....you know.