Chicago chef Joshua Linton is known for his spicy, ethnically diverse cooking.
So when he launched his seasonings label, Joshua Tree Spice Studio, a few months back, we knew it would be a hit. Locals relish his hickory-smoked Brazilian sea salt, hickory-smoked tellicherry black peppercorns (fruitier than conventional pepper), hickory-smoked Chinese five-spice (cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel seed, Szechuan peppercorn), Aleppo chili rub, and chili-lime salt.
His latest blend is hickory-smoked clove-bergamot orange powder. After tracking down fresh bergamot oranges, Linton zests, dries, and blends them with cloves and black cardamom. The result gives a powerful kick to slow-cooked dishes like lamb and rabbit. But what about baking? We challenged him to take things up a notch with a sweet recipe for DailyCandy. Savor it.
Smoked Clove-Bergamot Orange Cupcakes with Earl Grey Icing
Ingredients for Cupcakes
1 c. butter
2½ c. sugar
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. smoked clove-bergamot powder
1 tbsp. Saigon cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl. Add eggs one at a time.
3. Sift flour, clove-bergamot powder, cinnamon, and baking soda in a separate large bowl.
4. Alternating buttermilk and butter mixture, incorporate into flour mixture until smooth.
5. Pour into cupcake molds. Bake 30-35 minutes.
Ingredients for Icing
1 tsp. Earl Grey tea leaves, whole
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 lb. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. In a coffee grinder, grind tea leaves into a fine powder.
2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until combined.
3. On low speed, beat in sugar, ground tea, and vanilla until smooth.
4. When cupcakes are cool, apply icing generously.
5. Gloat. That cupcake’s got a serious kick!
Spices available online at joshuatreespicestudio.com.
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