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?
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.
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.
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.