Is there any way to save slightly burnt caramel?

I was making a salted caramel topping with heavy cream mixed in. There's a *slightly* burnt flavor, but noticeable enough to me. Any way I can save it? Or do I just have to start over?

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10 Comments

Jennifer W. November 5, 2018
Ive saved a bit of my ever so slightly burnt caramel to add to lighter caramel to deepen the flavor.
 
Britany M. November 4, 2018
Or you could just add a touch more cream to thin the mixture. Turn on very low heat till warmed through, add sugar to taste, then heat stirring constantly until sugar melts. May change consistency slightly but if your making caramel sauce... So what. If it's a stubborn burnt taste add a dash of vanilla extract. There's usually a way to fix things if your patient. The key is keeping the temp low enough and stir enough to not burn more but do it long enough to melt the extra sugar which counteracts the bitter burnt flavor.
 
Jamal A. June 5, 2017
Assuming its slightly burned and still has a roughly amber tone. Let it sit on your fridge self for 5 years! Just kidding, only for a day and then carefully decant the top, which will be a slightly lighter color. The supernatant is too bitter to save, but the decanted caramel should taste perfect after adding a little sweetened condensed milk.
 
Okserg November 7, 2023
Wow, I just realized that Jamal's comment is five years old. I have the same problem as the original poster and so I'm trying to listen to every possible way to correct it because to make matters worse I was going to use it in ice cream, so I quadrupled The recipe. That was probably not the time to allow my attention to be directed elsewhere.

Anyway, if Jamal still gets these messages or if somebody else can translate what he means, I would appreciate it.

For example, I don't know exactly what he means about decanting the caramel . My only references decanting wine where you expose it to air for a while before you serve it. And I have mine exposed to the air for a long time. Also, I don't know what supernatant is in that context any help?
 
Okserg November 7, 2023
Well, I have come to the realization that there's nothing I can do. I tried to delete my post, but couldn't. If there is a sysop here, would you delete this post and the one above it? I appreciate it.
 
hrosdail April 19, 2012
No. I have tried and failed. It never works and I always have to start over.
 

Voted the Best Reply!

Slow C. April 19, 2012
I'm not trying to be smug, but try your best to see this as one of *those* learning experiences. A burnt taste will not go away, there is no fixing it. That fine line between deep dark caramel and "slightly" burnt is the line between knowing what you are doing and...well...not really knowing what you are doing. I promise you that ANYONE who makes great caramel has burnt many batches! And it is through burning all those batches that the perfect dark (but not burnt!) note is achieved. Chalk it up to becoming a great cook and toss it out and start from scratch. You'll get there!
 
boulangere April 18, 2012
Unfortunately, the third answer is not a charm: start over. Sugar goes from caramel to scorched in the blink of an eye, which I'm guessing you've already figured out.
 
Merrill S. April 18, 2012
If you don't like the flavor, I think your best option is to start over. Sorry!
 
hardlikearmour April 18, 2012
I'd start over, or call it burnt sugar salted caramel or some such. Hopefully someone will have some advice for salvaging it.
 
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