Bring the sugar and water to the boil in a wide pan without stirring, reduce the heat and simmer, shaking the pan occasionally until a light brown caramel has formed. Take the pan off the hob. Add the water, holding the pan lid over at a slight angle for protection. Cover and continue to simmer the caramel until it has dissolved. Divide between the prepared ramekins.
In the same pan, bring the milk to the boil with the vanilla pod and seeds, remove the vanilla pod. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring with a whisk. Pour the liquid into a jug so that it can be easily divided between the ramekins.
To cook in a bain-marie Cover each ramekin with foil, place on a clean cloth in an ovenproof dish.
Pour in boiling water to 2/3 the height of the ramekins. Bake for approx. 40 mins. in the lower half of an oven preheated to 170°C. Take out of the oven, remove the foil. Leave the puddings to cool, then chill for approx. 4 hrs.