One of my all-time favorite cooking shows in Australia was The Cook and The Chef. Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant celebrated fresh Australian produce, and entertained people in South Australia’s Barossa Valley. This show centered around the power of food to bring people together in community.
This recipe was one of Simon’s favorites. When I contacted the ABC network to gain permission to post Simon’s recipe, they kindly forwarded me onto his agent who forwarding my request to Simon, who generously offered to test my gluten free adaptation in order to make sure it would work s’blendedly for you! I was blown away by his generosity of spirit. Recipes are meant to be shared; and they are so much sweeter when they are handed on with such love and kindness.
I almost didn’t want to admit that I had trialed the adaptation with great success and didn’t need to take him up on his offer. I'm sure he would have added a little something extra. But honesty prevailed, and I politely declined. But wow, did it restore my faith in the kindness of strangers, and enhanced my admiration for him.
What Simon was concerned about was the fact that these bars often don’t set completely. He offered this disclaimer: using good quality fresh almonds is really critical or the mixture will be too sloppy and will not bind. Bad almonds only absorb half the liquid. I've never had a problem with this recipe if you use quality ingredients and measure exact quantities.
Play around and you will reach your perfect blend.