KK 2

With less than a month to go until Valentine’s Day, Japan has got sweets on the brain. Japanese tradition dictates that, on the special day, women give gifts to men, including at least one form of chocolate.

But while common opinion holds that homemade chocolate is best, not everyone has the culinary skills or free time to whip up a batch. So for those of you looking for the next best thing, we bring you our taste test of Krispy Kreme Japan’s three limited edition Valentine’s Day flavors.

In celebration of the most romantic of holidays, Krispy Kreme will be offering the Rich Chocolate Box from February 1-14. Exactly 600 yen (US $6) gets you your choice of two of the three limited edition flavors, packaged in a special Valentine’s Day box with a slot for a message card. And yes, ladies, if you give your boyfriend two donuts for Valentine’s Day and he doesn’t share, he’s officially a jerk. We advise you to dump him immediately and start dating any of the single men on the RocketNews24 staff instead.

KK 17

But while you can get away with giving sub-par-tasting sweets with the touching side note that they’re homemade, it’s a bit harder to justify a store-bought present that tastes bad. So to help you make the right decision for your special someone, we’ve taste tested the three new varieties.

Unfortunately, we don’t have quite as much sway with the donut-industrial complex as we’d like, and our time machine is still in the shop (it’s ironic how long the repairs are taking, really). So how did we manage to get our hands on the new flavors before February? Simple: we ordered the 12-pack they’re already available in.

▼ We really can’t overstate how strongly we wish more of life’s problems could be solved by “Buy a dozen donuts.”

KK 18

The Rich Chocolate Dozen, which went on sale on January 8 for 2,000 yen ($20), contains two each of the three special flavors offered in the dual-occupancy Rich Chocolate Box, and we tried them all in the name of sweet, sugary science.

1. Roasted Almond and Chocolate

KK 3

First up was this nutty concoction. All three of the Rich Chocolate Box-eligible donuts feature a special chocolate cake, soft and fluffy with just a touch of bitterness, giving them a crisp aftertaste that should make them a hit with people who don’t like their snacks super saccharine.

KK 4

In the case of the Roasted Almond and Chocolate donut, the cake is topped with sliced almonds, and crispy chocolate, with the whole thing sprinkled with bitter cocoa powder. The main attraction here is the scent of roasted nuts that hits your olfactory nerves as soon as you take a bite.

2. Raspberry Jelly and Chocolate

KK 5

The most ostentatiously decorated of the bunch, the second special edition donut is covered with a tart, jam-like raspberry glaze and silver dragee, those hard, circular confectionaries you find in the baking supplies aisle of the grocery store and have to double check whether they’re edible or not.

▼ You mean they’re not ball bearings?

KK 6

They taste just fine here, as does the interplay between their sweetness, the jelly’s tang, and the cake’s bitter accents.

3. Caramel and Chocolate Cream

KK 7

If the Raspberry Jelly and Chocolate is the prettiest member of our taste test, the Caramel and Chocolate Cream is the most decadent.

KK 8

Topped with white chocolate shavings and drizzled with both gooey chocolate cream and caramel sauce, the bitter chocolate used in the cake once again comes to the rescue and keeps the sweetness from being overbearing.

While these three flavors are the only options with the two-pack Rich Chocolate Box, the 12-pack Rich Chocolate Dozen also contains a fourth flavor which can’t be purchased in any other way.

KK 10

The Chocolate Cake and Strawberry donut, two of which are included in the 12-pack, has a unique cake which is denser and heavier than the three flavors mentioned above. True to its name, it’s covered with a thick chocolate glaze and crumbled strawberry topping, with a bitter aftertaste that perfectly balances each bite.

KK 11

It’s so good that we’re perplexed by Krispy Kreme’s not offering it as a choice for the Rich Chocolate Box. Frankly, it seems more than a little unfair.

Of course, we didn’t hear any complaints from the staff about having a dozen donuts lying around the office, so maybe Krispy Kreme knows what they’re doing after all.

Images: RocketNews24, Krispy Kreme
[ Read in Japanese ]