Hello, this is Marta, the nutritionist and recipe developer at Foodacious. If you want to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of shortcrust pastry, I’ll show you how to use it to prepare a delicious vegan pain au chocolat step-by-step pictures. It will take a bit of work, but it will definitely be worth it!
But first: what is pain au chocolate? Put simply, it’s a pastry roll filled with chocolate. Pain au chocolate means “chocolate bread” in French and is also known as little pain in eastern and northern France and Chocolate in southwestern France and Quebec. This classic French pastry is made from a yeast dough laminated by repeated folding and rolling with butter.
This layered dough is used in many French baked goods such as croissants. But unlike croissants, pain au chocolat is filled with a chunk or two of chocolate and shaped like a roll rather than a crescent. It’s rich and flaky, with an indulgent melted chocolate core. And unsurprisingly, it’s my husband Edward’s favorite breakfast (and he’s a real connoisseur when it comes to chocolate)!
It’s super easy to turn pain au chocolate into a vegan-friendly pastry since the only ingredient our way is butter. Luckily for us, vegan butter made from coconut oil is now readily available, and from my experience so far I’ve had pretty good results in terms of texture and flavor. As for the chocolate, I recommend going for the darkest variety you can tolerate to keep the sugar down; 70% is a good start, but why not be bold and try 85% or more?
If making dough from scratch sounds a bit daunting, I’ve broken the whole process down into manageable steps, with pictures and tips to help you. You’ll be surprised to see that it doesn’t require too much effort. All you need is a good dough hook, a large tray and some time!
But of course, you can also take a quick shortcut and use store-bought non-dairy puff pastry. If so, start the recipe at step 9 where I show you how to cut the dough, fill with chocolate and roll into a nice and plump pain au chocolat! Ok, put on your kitchen apron and let’s go!