Fire and Rice Queso Flan
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
3/4 cups water
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
6 large eggs
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salt, to taste
4 ounces ramekins
Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir first 3 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan (should look like loose, wet sand) over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to bring to a boil without stirring until syrup turns to an amber color. Work quickly (as the caramel will continue to cook) to ladle a thin layer of caramel into the bottom of the ramekins and reserve.
To make custard, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract and salt in a blender. Blend 30-45 seconds until all ingredients are combined. Pour custard through a strainer into a container; pour into the ramekins with the caramel. Place the ramekins in a 2-inch deep hotel pan or baking dish and add enough boiling water to pan to come up halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Loosely cover with foil and bake 45-55 minutes. The center of the flans will still wobble slightly, but they will set as they cook. Remove flan from water bath. Refrigerate uncovered until cool; cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.
Run small, sharp knife around flan to loosen and invert on a serving dish. The flan should release cleanly, and the caramel sauce should evenly distribute itself. Garnish with seasonal berries, serve and enjoy!
Note: If you have access to an oven that will hold 200 F, you can bake the flans on a sheet tray (without the water bath) for 75-80 min. Both techniques work well!