Americans call them sheet pans, cookie sheets and jelly roll pans — a jelly roll being their version of a swiss roll; and a swiss roll pan, or tin, is the more common term in New Zealand. We also refer to them as baking trays or slice trays ... Whatever you call them, all of Ray McVinnie's tray bakes call for an ovenproof dish with shallow sides — just high enough to contain the ingredients and allow them to cook quickly and evenly. Don't let these complexities put you off this simple cooking method: if a roasting dish (that would be one with higher sides) is all you have, use it! it just may take a little longer to cook.

You will need to be more specific about your tin for Kathy Paterson's fresh stonefruit cakes. Kathy advises that if you do use a larger tin than that specified you need to reduce the baking time accordingly. It would be a thinner cake and potentially dry out if you over-bake. When it comes to cooking time, use your senses: the cake should have that lovely smell of baked goods — if it smells cooked it probably is. The colour should be golden or brown and ideally the same all over. The texture should be the same all over. Slight shrinking away from the sides of the tin can be another good indication the cake is cooked.

If there's cake for dessert I like to cook a lighter dinner and this grilled corn salad with goat's cheese is just that, putting late summer produce to good use.

If you fancy a slow-cook, Allyson Gofton's beef short ribs are great for sliders or as is with coleslaw.


Back to that summer produce, if you have been disappointed when purple beans turn green when cooked, Peter Gordon has a few tricks that might help them hold their colour. Are you growing your own broccoli sprouts yet? We are, and you will be too after reading about their very favourable effects on health.