Novice candy-maker wants to make Fleur de Sel Caramels
I'm looking at this recipe:
But here's the thing. I don't understand the principal of going to the effort of rolling the caramel sheets. Why not just pour the caramel into the pan (properly greased, probably should buy a Silpat), wait half an hour, sprinkle with salt and then cut the caramels?
What am I missing here?
I've never had any success at all prying cooled caramel from a metal or glass pan. I use a couple of square silicone pans--they make it a cinch to pop the caramels out, and then I can just cut them on a cutting board. I wrap them in wrappers like these http://www.amazon.com/High-Quality-Caramel-Wrappers-800-1000/dp/B003GL5Y6A (you will need to wrap them in something or they'll stick together).
(Oh--and you will not be doing anything to your caramels half an hour after pouring them into in the pan. They take several hours to cool. That stuff is **HOT**!!)
This is my favorite caramel recipe http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580694 --I make it every Christmas, and I usually end up making them again a couple more times, because my supply never lasts through to New Years. These are to DIE for. I do add about 50% more salt than the recipe says--otherwise, it's flawless. I can do a triple batch in my big All-Clad dutch oven and pour them up to cool in two 8" square pans.
I agree, I don't see any point to the rolling, she is not even rolling the salt inside in a layer, it just sounds like extra work. I make mine in a 9" square pan with a removable bottom, sprayed and lined with parchment. I do smaller batches in a loaf pan, and the removable bottom is not essential, but adequate oiled parchment is. I usually wait until the next day to cut caramels, or at least several hours until they are completely cool.
Rolling is not needed.
One thing that rolling does is it becomes easier to cut consistent size pieces. With a square pan, it's sometimes difficult (a little more work) to come out with squares that are all the same size. Note - a pizza cutter is a very useful tool.
In regards to the silpat, that's optional. Parchment paper works for me.