On my last visit to the US, despite shopping for 2 weeks of vegan ingredients and cookware that are not available in Japan, there was one thing I forgot to buy. As a frequent baker, I was excited to try Baker’s Edge’s innovative baking pans, and I wasn’t sure whether to buy their Edge Brownie Pan or Simple Lasagna Pan.
For those who don’t know, the Edge Brownie Pan is designed so that each brownie piece has at least two edges (since many people prefer to eat the corners of conventional brownies), and the Simple Lasagna Pan is designed to make a lasagna that is crispy around the edges, evenly cooked, and does not lose its shape when sliced.
According to Baker’s Edge, in addition to being 50% larger than the brownie pan, their lasagna pan is designed especially for standard-size box noodles and has a nonstick coating for high-protein foods (i.e. meat and cheese). . On the other hand, the non-stick coating on the Edge Brownie Pan is made for high-sugar foods. Another big difference is that the lasagna pan is “hard anodized” for added strength and larger handles.
These pans aren’t cheap ($35 for the brownie and $50 for the lasagna pan), and I knew shipping them to Japan wouldn’t be cheap either, so I was trying to convince myself that just one guy would be good enough. Being a vegan, the special coating on the lasagna pan didn’t bother me much. So it all came down to size: could you make a living making small lasagna in the brownie pan or using the lasagna pan to bake brownies?
Well, life’s too short for compromises, so I bought both. And since no reseller sent me the pans in Tokyo, I bought another brownie pan for my friend who took the trouble to send them to me (he was ecstatic). Several days later, the pans were finally in my hands and I couldn’t wait to start baking.
Since we’ve always had a surplus of okara (soybean pulp) from our soymilk maker, the first thing I made in the lasagna pan was Messy Vegetarian Cook’s Okara Meatloaf Recipe with Swedish Mushroom Sauce from Voracious Vegan. The pans are more efficient and cook faster than regular baking pans, so the meatloaf came out a little crispy around the edges, but it beats soggy meatloaf any day. It may seem like fun that you’re using these fancy pans to prepare something that costs next to nothing (thanks to okara), but good equipment really does make a difference in flavor and makes cooking more enjoyable, too.
Since then, I have made a vegan lasagna in the lasagna pan, and that was also very easy because you can’t guess how many noodles you will need, it bakes evenly and is therefore always delicious. On top of that, the brownie recipes I’ve tried in the Edge Brownie Pan so far have resulted in chewy edges and moist centers. Since the pans don’t need to be oiled, food is healthier and cleanup is quick too.
Both pans are built to last and were well worth the effort and cost to get my hands on them. So if you’ve been curious to try cooking in Edge pans, go ahead and splurge!