Brendan Lynch - festive recipes

Posted on 17/12/13

Brendan Lynch, 2012 BBC Great British Bake Off finalist has joined us at the cookery school this morning to share two great festive recipes with the BBC Radio Derby listeners.

Brendan currently teaches a range of 6 baking courses with us here at Seasoned from baking showstoppers to chocolate baking. All cooking classes are taught at the cookery school located in the grounds of the Catton Hall estate in south Derbyshire.



The Mid morning show with Sally Pepper is being recorded live from Seasoned Cookery School where Brendan will be talking through two different recipes, which are both perfect canapes at any Christmas party.


Brendan’s first of the festive recipes is:

Stilton & Chestnut Parcels


  • 2 x 500g  readymade frozen, all butter, puff pastry, (thawed if frozen)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, chopped
  • 12 – 18ozs/c 500g mushrooms, chopped
  • 16ozs/500g of packaged chestnuts, cut in small pieces
  • 200g stilton
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 2 teaspoon cornflour
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.
  2. Sauté the chopped onion until translucent.
  3. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until they become soft.
  4. Add the seasonings and the chestnut pieces.
  5. Mix the wine with the flour and cornflour and add to the mushroom/chestnut mixture.
  6. Continue cooking until the mixture is no longer liquid.
  7. Remove from the heat.
  8. Heat the oven to 220 C/428F
  9. Roll out puff pastry to £1 coin thickness
  10. Place 8 puff pastry squares on a baking sheet/s lined with non-stick parchment
  11. Place 2 tablespoons of mushroom-chestnut mixture in the center of each pastry.
  12. Using a pastry brush or your finger, run a slight bit of eggwash around each edge of the pastry.
  13. Place the 2nd cut-out of pastry over the mushroom mixture and seal the edges together using light pressure.
  14. Do this for each of the 8 mushroom pockets.
  15. Brush each parcel with some egg wash. Cut a few vent holes with a small, sharp knife. You can draw a kitchen fork over the egg-washed top to create a pattern, or use any leftover pastry pieces to create a design.
  16. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15- 20 minutes or until golden brown.




The second of the festive recipes is: 





Makes 12 – 15 pies (depending on depth of tin)

For the flan pastry:

6ozs plain flour

pinch of salt

3ozs butter

1 small egg

1 teaspoon caster sugar

2-3 tablespoons of cold water


Standard jar of good quality mincemeat


For the frangipane:

100g unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature

100g caster sugar

100g ground almonds

25g plain flour

1 large egg

1 tbsp brandy

flaked almonds to decorate


For the Pastry

–          Sift the flour into a bowl, add the salt, the caster sugar, and mix.

–          Rub in the butter with fingertips until you have fine breadcrumbs.

–          Beat the egg into the cold water and add to mixture to achieve firm dough.

–          Knead lightly on a floured surface into a ball and flatten slightly.

–          Wrap in Clingfilm and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes. This pastry can be made 2-3 days beforehand and kept in fridge until needed.

For the Frangipane

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy and then beat in the ground almonds. Mix in the egg, followed by the flour and finally the brandy.

To Assemble

  • Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  • Grease one 12 hole tart tin. Roll out pastry thinly and cut 12 rounds of pastry to line tins. Leave to rest in fridge while you make the frangipane.
  • Put 1 heaped teaspoon of mincemeat into pastry case (do not overfill as it will bubble out during baking), and then spoon a heaped teaspoon of frangipane over the top of each one. Smooth it over but no need to be too accurate as it will spread out over the mincemeat as it bakes, and sprinkle with some flaked almonds.
  • Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or cold sprinkled with icing sugar.



If these two festive recipes have inspired you to take up baking or to add to your current skill set then take a look at our baking courses, we run one at Christmas which is full of festive recipes!

We are located in South Derbyshire, with excellent transport links from neighboring cities such as Lichfield and Leicester.