Japan’s favorite casual donut chain collaborates with one of the country’s best patissiers for a four-donut chocolate gateau lineup, and we try them all.

Despite the formality of the name, Mister Donut is a pretty casual place. Sure, they spruced up one of their Tokyo branches with some very avantgarde Pokémon interior design recently, but the chain’s locations across Japan are casual, inexpensive, and unpretentious donut joints.

However, Mister Donut does occasionally get gourmet by teaming up with respected patissiers as part of their Misdo Meets series (“Misdo” being the chain’s in-Japanese nickname). The latest collaboration is with Kyoto-born, Europe-trained, Tokyo-based pastry chef Toshi Yoroizuka, who has a handful of sweets shops in some of the swankiest neighborhoods of the capital.

The four-donut Misdo Meets Toshi Yoroizuka lineup went on sale January 11, but we were lucky enough to get a sneak-peek/taste of them at a special event, since early-access donut debuts are exactly the sort of press passes we’re quick to snatch up. All four use a chocolate gateau cake donut as their base, but from that sweet canvas Yoroizuka has created four distinctly delicious creations.

Starting with the Triolet Chocolat, you might be able to guess that the first word means “trio,” as in a set of three musicians. It’s a reference to the donut’s chocolate gateau cream, chocolate-infused whipped cream, and curled chocolate with candied almond topping. And just like a trio of skilled performers, everything comes together beautifully, resulting in a sensation that will make your taste buds sing. The donut’s outer layer has a touch of crispness, but the inside is soft and moist, and the perfect balance of sweet but not overpowering flavor immediately establishes this as a dessert of amazingly high quality.

Up next is the Noix de Coco or “coconut” as the name translates to in English. Here the chocolate gateau cake gets a half-coating of white chocolate sprinkled with roasted and shredded coconut and salty caramel cream filling up the center. The coconut gives it an satisfying crunch, and the richness of the white chocolate and caramel work so well together that calling it by anything less than the French culinary term marriage feels inadequate.

The linguistic roots of the Pistache are also pretty easy to guess. Here the chocolate gateau donut is dusted with cocoa powder, and that splash of green inside the ring is pistachio chocolate whipped cream, with roasted pistachio pieces along for the ride. Pistachio is a trendy flavor in Japan these days, but it’s been one of Yoroizuka’s personal favorite ingredients for 30 years of his career, and the nutty and chocolate flavors mesh exquisitely here, and the pistachio aroma is an added, and enticing, bonus,

And last, we come to the Mont Blanc, which shares its name with both the mountain in the European Alps and the chestnut dessert (as well as the historic cafe in Tokyo that’s just closed down after 90 years in business). The chocolate gateau gets a sprinkling of powdered sugar and stacked swirls of chestnut chocolate cream, plus candied almond bits. That might sound like a lot going on, but all of the ingredients work harmoniously together, making their individual presences felt without pushing the others out of the way and leading to a surprisingly clean finish to the very enjoyable flavor profile.

There’s not a bad donut in the bunch, and honestly these feel like specialty patisserie-quality desserts, despite their extremely affordable prices of 248 yen (US$1.90) each. Really, the only downside is that they’re only available “until early February.” That vagueness implying that the real window is while supplies last, and the Misdo Meets series always tends to sell out quickly, so we’d recommend eating these as quickly, and as frequently, as you can.

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