Bambas de nata y chocolate
Was doomed to tragedy from the very beginning

Spanish bambas are sweet buns filled with whipped cream. They are believed to be a variation of Semla, from Sweden, where they are eaten typically the last Tuesday before Lent, which in Swedish is known as “Fettisdagen” (Fat Tuesday). The oldest version of the semla was a plain bread bun, eaten in a bowl of warm milk. Today, the Swedish-Finnish semla consists of a bun which has its top cut off, and is then filled with an almond paste, and the topped with whipped cream.

Spanish bambas do not include almond paste, and they can be found in any season in bakeries, although depending on the area they are called Cristinas, or Bambas. The standard version is dusted with icing sugar instead of chocolate as in the version I have prepared today. Enjoy !

Bambas de nata y chocolate

Bambas de nata y chocolate

{Chocolate covered sweet buns filled with cream}


    Dough, slightly adapted from “Las tentaciones de los santos”):

  • 200 g fermet: 125 g strong wheat flour, 75 ml water, 25 g fresh yeast
  • 400 g medium strengh white flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1-2 tbs honey
  • 75 g butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml water
  • For the chocolate glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 5 tbs water
  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • Whipped cream filling:

  • 200 g heavy cream, cold
  • 2 heaped tbs sugar


    Start preparing the fermet. In a bowl dissolve fresh yeast into water, add flour, knead and make a ball. Place the ball in a bowl and cover with a cloth. Let the ball rest until it doubles its size, the time will depend on the type of yeast used and the house temperature, but it usually takes about 2 hours.
  1. Then prepare the rest of the dough. Put the remaining ingredients (excepting butter) into a bowl. Use a large spoon (or pastry scraper) to mix everything together. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead. You will feel the dough become elastic after kneading for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is soft, pliable, and smooth.
  2. Put the dough into a bowl and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise in a warm place until its size doubles (about 2 hours depending on the room temperature).
  3. Take the dough out of the bowl, deflate it by touching lightly. Cut the dough into 80 g pieces and roll each of them into a ball.
  4. Place them on a paper parchment, cover with a damp cloth and let them rest for another 30 minutes, whilst preheating the oven to 375º F.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let the sweet breads cool
  6. To prepare the chocolate glaze, mix water and sugar, and bring to boil. Remove from the fire, add chopped chocolate, and whisk until combined.
  7. Once the buns cold, dip every bun in chocolate icing, and let them set at room temperature. Decorate with some chopped peanuts if desired
  8. To prepare the filling put sugar and cream on a large bowl, and beat on high speed until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.
  9. Cut a slice off the top of the bun, and (generously) fill with whipped cream