With a lit­tle ad­vance plan­ning, you can pre­pare this un­usual cake with ease. The brioche dough may seem daunt­ing but, trust me, with a good mixer at hand, it’s sim­ple, straight­for­ward and worth the time. You will only need half the dough, but the other half can be frozen for fu­ture use. Just be sure to mix it a day in ad­vance for it needs to chill overnight. Quick­rise in­stant yeast can be mixed di­rectly into the other in­gre­di­ents—no pre-dis­solv­ing re­quired. The squash can be roasted a day ahead, the crum­ble is a snap, and there you have it! This would be lovely served with a sim­ple green salad.


¼ cup (60 mL) whole milk

1¼ tsp (6 mL) quick-rise, in­stant yeast 3 eggs, room tem­per­a­ture

1¾ cups (425 mL) all-pur­pose flour, di­vided 2½ tbsp (38 mL) su­gar

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

½ cup (125 mL) un­salted but­ter, room tem­per­a­ture


1 medium but­ter­nut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch (1 cm) cubes

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

Salt and pep­per

2 sprigs rose­mary


¾ cup (175 mL) panko crumbs

2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped pars­ley ⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) salt

Pinch pep­per

2 tbsp (30 mL) melted but­ter

¾ cup (175 mL) soft feta or goat cheese for assem­bly

1 For the brioche, pour the milk into the bowl of an elec­tric mixer. Whisk in the yeast fol­lowed by 1 of the eggs. Add ½ cup (125 mL) of the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to com­bine. Sprin­kle ½ cup (125 mL) more

of the flour over­top with­out stir­ring. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place un­til the sur­face of the flour cracks, about 40 min­utes.

2 Com­bine the re­main­ing flour, su­gar and salt. Add the dry in­gre­di­ents and the re­main­ing eggs to the mix­ing bowl and, us­ing the pad­dle at­tach­ment, beat on low speed just un­til com­bined. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 15 min­utes, scrap­ing down the sides of the bowl and the dough hook 2 or 3 times dur­ing the process. The dough should be smooth, shiny and quite soft.

3 On low speed, add the but­ter 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time and once all the but­ter has been added, in­crease the speed to medium. Con­tinue mix­ing, scrap­ing down the sides as nec­es­sary, un­til the but­ter is fully in­cor­po­rated into the dough and no but­ter lumps re­main. The dough will be smooth, shiny and soft.

4 Trans­fer the dough to a floured work sur­face, and gather it into a ball. Trans­fer to a lightly oiled bowl then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place un­til dou­bled in bulk, about 1½ hours. At this point, you can freeze half the dough for fu­ture use. Wrap it well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks.

5 Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per and dust the sur­face with flour. Trans­fer the re­main­ing brioche dough to the pre­pared bak­ing sheet. Lightly dust the sur­face of the dough with flour and gently pat it out about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Cover the sur­face di­rectly with plastic wrap and re­frig­er­ate overnight.

6 For the squash, pre­heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the squash in a shal­low roast­ing pan. Add the olive oil and toss to coat. Sea­son with salt and pep­per and add the rose­mary sprigs. Roast un­til ten­der but not fall­ing apart, 25 to 30 min­utes. Cool to room tem­per­a­ture. The squash can be roasted a day ahead and re­frig­er­ated. You will need 3 cups of cooked squash to com­plete the cake.

7 For the crum­ble, com­bine the panko crumbs, pars­ley, salt and pep­per. Add the melted but­ter and mix so the panko crumbs are evenly coated.

8 But­ter and flour the bot­tom of a 10-inch (25-cm) spring­form pan. Shape the chilled dough into a disc. On a lightly floured sur­face, roll the dough out to a 10-inch (25-cm) cir­cle. Trans­fer the dough to the pan and, if nec­es­sary, pat it out a lit­tle more so it reaches the sides of the pan. (If there is a small space be­tween the dough and the sides of the pan, don’t worry—it will ex­pand upon proofing and bak­ing.) Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place un­til dou­bled, about 1 hour.

9 Pre­heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

10 Gently scat­ter 3 cups (750 mL) of the cooked squash cubes over the dough, then crum­ble the cheese over­top the squash. Sprin­kle the crum­ble over all. Bake for 30 to 35 min­utes, or un­til the sides of the brioche are just golden brown. Serve warm or at room tem­per­a­ture.

Serves 10

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