Step 1 Arrange 8 (7- to 8-ounce) creme caramel cups or ramekins in a baking pan lined with a piece of parchment paper and set near the stove.
Step 2 Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a very clean, small nonstick saucepan and stir to combine (the corn syrup will help keep the caramel from crystallizing). Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spoon or spatula. Continue to simmer and stir until the caramel is a rich, deep amber, about 13 minutes. If any sugar crystallizes on the side of the pan, brush the sugar down with a pastry brush that has been dipped in water. If the caramel begins to foam or browns too quickly, move it off the heat briefly to let it rest and allow you to regain control.
Step 3Remove the caramel from the heat. Pour some of the caramel into the bottoms of two of the cups and immediately rotate them to coat the bottoms evenly with a thin layer of caramel. (If you don't work fast, the caramel may solidify too quickly.) Coat the remaining cups two at a time; if the caramel in the saucepan gets too thick, place it over low heat to remelt. (The caramel cups can be held at room temperature for 2 days; cover the cups with plastic wrap.)