When I was growing up, contrary to the Indian stereotype, I was not taught how to cook Indian food. In fact, I still can't really cook Indian food. Instead my mum bought me an exercise book and told me to start noting down the recipes for cakes and cookies. I still have this exercise book to this day, complete with the illustrations of blenders, whisks and spoons that I had drawn on the outside.
I made my first cake myself when I was 8 years old. Back in the day when Doctors still did housecalls, my GP mum had to visit an elderly lady who lived in Willesden Green. During the visit, my mum's host offered her a slice of cake and a cup of tea. My mum enjoyed the cake so much that she asked the patient if she could jot down the recipe. This was the first cake that my mum taught me to make; my beloved Marble Cake!
Over the years I have of course learnt to make other cakes and bakes, however marble cake continues to be my failsafe cake recipe. It is the "little black dress" of cakes. It is perfect for any occasion, especially when you have an hour to rustle something up to take to a party.
I suppose you could say that I owe my love of baking to my wonderful mum, not only for teaching me the basics, but also for not insisting that I stop baking and learn to make Aloo Gobi.