Digging up the tubers of daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) can be done in the very early spring when they are just making shoots, or in the late fall after the foliage starts dying back and before the ground frosts. It is during these two seasons when the energy of the plant is still in the tubers, and they are firm. During other times of the year, the clusters of tubers are spongy and a bit rotten, not good for eating. We go to where we know there are large patches of daylilies, and dig at the basal rosette. The tubers are all attached together, and can be about the size of a quarter. I scrub them with a stiff-bristled vegetable brush, but don't bother with peeling each tuber, then send a bunch of the tubers through a food processor to shred them. I would not try to shred them by hand, as they are small and you would likely shred more of your knuckles than tubers. Robert and I think the flavor of the tubers in this cake tastes like toasted coconut. The cake is nicely sweet by itself, but I added some powdered sugar icing on top so it looks pretty, and it would also be nice with some vanilla ice cream.
Daylily Root Cake makes one bundt pan
2 c. shredded daylily tubers
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. plus 2 Tbsp oil
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. honey
for the icing:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk or water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease and lightly flour a bundt pan.
2. Toss the shredded tubers and the lemon juice together.
3. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon into the bowl of a mixer.
4. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, maple syrup, and honey.
5. Using the paddle, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients with the mixer running at low speed. Scrape down the sides, and mix at medium speed for 30 seconds. Fold in the shredded tubers.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 30-38 minutes, until golden and firm. Cool about 10 minutes, and invert the bundt pan onto a serving plate. Cool the cake completely.
7. To make the icing, whisk the milk or water and vanilla into the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cake and serve.
|Cleaned tubers, ready for shredding|