Just FYI, there are several threads on canelés. My involvement started with the link below, and it grew to more threads. It was a long, frustrating process, but we finally managed to get it right.
Here's a link to the cheapest source I have found for the copper moulds. They also carry the silicone ones.
silicone is synonymous with lack of browning, so i sincerely doubt it as well. to try to do it without the mould would end up with something likely dried out and unevenly darkened but not necessarily crusty. the even heat transfer of the copper mould is what makes it happen so effectively... plus they might just collapse upon themselves.
gonna say... Tap Phong? Or that supply store in the middle of SLM. Good bets, though I've never specifically looked for or seen the moulds. Nella might be a good place to call too.
also: goldaskitchen.com - didn't see it there on a quick pass, but there's a lot of stuff in there.
edit: Ah ha! http://www.goldaskitchen.com/merchant...
...I really shouldn't browse that website. I get too many ideas.
360 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON M5T, CA