BEFORE YOU BAKE, CHECK THE RECIPE VERY CAREFULLY
"I don't know if this is the correct email to use to contact someone at BBC Good Food to complain about a recipe, but it's the only one I can find. You don't make it easy to get in touch.
I have just spent several weeks in this Pandemic Lockdown, trying to find flour, butter and dried fruit to make a very special birthday cake. I am in the 'at risk' category so have been dreading regularly scouring the shops for the ingredients.
I finally got everything yesterday and decided to bake today as the birthday is on Monday.
I am not a very experienced baker so looked online for a Mary Berry Fruit Cake Recipe and found it on the BBC Good Food website - link here;
I thought that I couldn't go wrong with a combination of Mary Berry and Good Food.
To say the result was a disappointment is a vast understatement. I am disgusted with the result.
The main issue appears to be the massive - and probably incorrect - amount of butter required. As the cake was cooking, melted butter was dripping out of the tin (springform, double lined) through the oven shelf and onto the floor of the oven. The edges and top quickly appeared to caramelise and brown; I covered the top of the cake and I had to reduce the temperature to 120 - 130 C . After only two hours (the recipe said it should take 4 - 4.5 hours) I felt it necessary to remove the cake from the oven as there was a strong smell of toffee and the top, while covered, was becoming crispy. It effectively fried it.
Once cooled and cut, it is horrible - VERY greasy, a unpleasant crumbly texture with toffee-like fruit. This is NOT a proper Christmas Cake.
I must say that my oven is functioning perfectly - there is nothing wrong with the thermostat. The cake was prepared exactly as per the recipe.
I am angry that I have wasted so much money (premium prices at the moment for dried fruit, butter and flour - if you can find it) and time, but more that the cake I wanted to make for a very special birthday is virtually inedible. It is SO densely packed with butter that it is a health hazard for the elderly gentleman who was to be the recipient. I am now left without a cake, without ingredients and at a considerable financial loss. To say I am angry and disappointed doesn't begin to describe my feelings.
I don't expect to receive a reply to this email, but I will be posting copies of it on social media to see whether anyone will reply to me there."
So there it is. I have lost all faith in MB and BBCGF . So before you invest time, money and hope, question the recipe. I followed it to the letter, but from now on I will ONLY be using recipes that friends have tried and recommend.