Grease 8 1/2 cup ovenproof ramekins, and place in large enough ovenproof pan.
Combine water and 1 cup of sugar in medium saucepan. Heat and stir on medium for about 3 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Boil for 5-10 minutes, without stirring until syrup is a deep golden brown. Work quickly to divide syrup among ramekins.
Beat eggs, vanilla and 1/2 cup of sugar in a large bowl, with a whisk until frothy.
Combine milk and whipping cream in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until very hot and bubbles appear around the edge.
Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with whisk until combined. Strain into 4 cup liquid measurements. Divide custard among ramekins. Carefully pour enough boiling water into pan until water comes halfway up sides of the ramekins.
Bake in 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes until almost set. Remove from water. Cool completely. Cover and chill for 6 hours or overnight. Carefully run knife around edge of ramekin to loosen. Invert onto 8 individual serving plates and add topping!