Switch up your dessert game with this delightful sake cream and strawberry sando of sweet strawberries and boozy whipped cream sandwiched between soft and fluffy shokupan.
Before our Vietnam trip, I started experimenting with shokupan, or Japanese milk bread. With so many shokupan loaves around, I made all kinds of sando (Japanese sandwiches) from tamago sando, katsu sando, and karaage sando to seasonal fruit sando. The kids and I love having fruit sandos for dessert. While they love a simple strawberry sando, I enjoyed a more boozy version of sake cream and strawberry sando. Sweet juicy strawberries are buried in whipped cream flavored with fruity sake and nestled between the most pillowy slices of shokupan. While simple in nature and requiring only 5 ingredients, the possibilities are endless with all the seasonal fruits you’ll have at your disposal.
Origin of Fruit Sando
Historically fruits were expensive in Japan. People bought them mainly for special occasions or gifting so many fruit shops opened near train stations and business districts in the early 1900s. As the fruit shops grew, many started fruit parlors, a fruit-themed cafe adjacent to the shop which served various fruit dishes such as parfaits, shortcakes, and fruit sandos. Fruit sando originated from either Tokyo’s Sembikiya, the fruit parlor established in 1894 or Kyoto’s Yaoiso, one of the oldest fruit shops that opened in 1972.
What Kind of Bread to Use
Fruit sando is traditionally made with shokupan, a lightly sweet and fluffy milk bread. Made with a higher concentration of milk and butter than traditional Western bread, shokupan has a chewy, soft texture that stands up well to wet ingredients. Shokupan can be found at Asian bakeries and supermarkets. If you can’t find shokupan, substitute with any white fluffy sandwich bread.
What Fruit to Use
I used in season strawberries for this strawberry sando. Pick strawberries with a vibrant shade of red and perky, green leaves. They don’t ripen after they’re picked so avoid strawberries that are still green or white, mushy or moldy. Kiwi, peaches, grapes, figs, and tangerines are great substitutes. Use a combination of the fruits you like.
How to Make the Cream
To make the whipped cream, add heavy cream to a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium-low. Once the cream starts to look frothy, add the sugar and sake, then whip on high until it forms medium-to-stiff peaks. Make sure the sake cream is thick or the sandwich will get soggy and lose its shape. Refrigerate the cream for 1 hour to let it firm up. I like a fruity sake with lychee or peach flavor. For a non-alcoholic version, skip the sake.
How to Make the Sando
- Cut off the crusts on all 4 sides of the shokupan slice.
- Spread on a thick layer of whipped cream on slice of bread.
- Arrange the strawberries on top of the cream, keeping in mind that you will be cutting along the diagonal and showing off cut sections of fruit. Pay attention to which diagonal you will be using.
- Cover the fruit with the remaining cream. Place the second slice of shokupan on top.
- Wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap, making sure there’s no air inside.
How Long to Chill the Sando
Chill the sake cream and strawberry sando in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
When you’re ready to eat, use your sharpest knife to cut the sando along your chosen diagonal line.
The cut strawberry sando should reveal a beautiful arrangement of strawberries.
Sake Cream and Strawberry Sando
- To make the whipped cream, add heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-low until the cream starts to look frothy. Add the sugar and sake, then whip on high until it forms medium-to-stiff peaks. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Cut off the crusts on all 4 sides of the shokupan slices.
- Spread on a thick layer of whipped cream on a shokupan slice.
- Arrange the strawberries on top of the cream, paying attention to where along the diagonal you will cut to show off cut sections of fruit.
- Cover the fruit with the remaining cream. Place the other slice of bread on top of the strawberries to make the sandwich. Repeat with the second sando.
- Wrap the sandos tightly with plastic wrap. Mark your diagonal on the plastic wrap so you will know where to cut. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight for the fruit and cream to set.
- When ready to eat, use a very sharp knife to cut along that diagonal line marked earlier.
- Discard the plastic wrap, open up the sando, and enjoy.