To make the dough, add the Alpro Soya to a saucepan set over medium low heat and heat until lukewarm. Whisk in the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes until frothy.
Sift the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the sugar. Using the dough hook attachment on medium speed, slowly add the Alpro mixture to the flour and sugar (or mix the dough by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer). Once it’s all incorporated, add the Medjool date paste. Keep mixing until the dough is smooth, elastic and shiny, and leaves the sides of the bowl clean, about 10 minutes (alternatively kneading by hand for 10 minutes).
Place the dough in a clean lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film, and leave in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C and line and oil a 23 x 10 cm rectangular loaf pan. To make the filling, warm up the date paste and combine with the cocoa powder using a spatula, mixing until smooth.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangle measuring 38 x 28 cm. Position the dough so that a long side is closest to you. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the dough, keeping a 2 cm border all the way around. Use both hands to roll up the rectangle like a roulade, starting from the long side closest to you until the end. Keep the rolled end on the bottom so that “it seals itself” and trim the two ends.
Now use a sharp knife to cut the roll lengthwise all the way so that you have two long halves with the visible layers on the inside. With the cut sides facing up, cross the two in the middle and braid the dough in both directions. Gently squeeze the ends together at the top and at the bottom. Carefully transfer the braid to the lined tin, cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Remove the cling film and bake the babka until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top of the babka is nice and golden, about 30 minutes. Once out of the oven brush the cake with the date syrup immediately. Let cool completely before serving.
Note: If you want to make your own dates paste, cover 10 pitted Medjool dates with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes until soft. Discard the water and add the dates to a blender with 40 ml of warm water. Blend until it’s a paste consistency.