Pain Au Chococake

Serves 8

For the cake

  • 6 ready-bake vegan pains aux chocolats (e.g. Jus Rol)

  • 200g plain flour

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1⁄2 tsp salt

  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 11⁄2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 11⁄2 tsp distilled white vinegar

  • 125ml water

  • 125ml plant-based milk

  • For the icing

  • 100g icing sugar

  • 75g cocoa powder

  • 30g dairy-free butter, plus a little extra for greasing

  • 40ml plant-based milk

  • 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 160°C | 900g loaf tin | Parchment paper | Long wooden skewer | Food processor or electric hand beater

Line the loaf tin by cutting a strip of parchment paper that is a little longer and wider than the base of the tin, so you can use the parchment to pull out the cake when it’s ready | Grease the inside of the tin with a little dairy-free butter.

Prepare the pains aux chocolats following the instructions on the packet | Line them up down the middle of the loaf tin, standing them on their ends | Rest the skewer on top of the tin, following the line of pastries and resting the tips on either end | Carefully twist the skewer into and through the top of the first pain au chocolat to attach it | Repeat with all the pastries until they’re attached to the skewer | The skewer gives the pastries stability and keeps them standing upright.

Put all the rest of the ingredients for the cake into the food processor and whizz to a batter (or put into a mixing bowl and beat together for 2–3 minutes with an electric hand beater).

Pour the cake mixture evenly down each side of the tin (it should fill the tin to about three-quarters full) | Cover the tin with foil and put it in the hot oven | Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil, put it back in the oven and bake for a further 20–25 minutes, until the cake is firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (this additional cooking will give the pain au chocolat a lovely crispy top) | Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin | Clean out the food processor.

Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, lift it out of the tin with the parchment paper and lay it on a serving plate.

Put all the icing ingredients into the clean food processor and whizz to a thick, rich icing | Carefully spread the icing over the cake part of the loaf (don’t spread it on the pains aux chocolat) | Leave to firm up and serve.