Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Prepare the caramel for the moulds first. Dissolve the sugar in three-quarters of the water, bring to the boil then boil for a few minutes without shaking the pan until the caramel is golden brown. Add the remaining water and re-boil. The caramel is now ready and can be divided between six 9 cm (3½ in) soufflé dishes. Leave to set.
To make the pudding, place the rice in cold water to cover, bring to the boil, then drain, refresh under cold water and drain again. Boil 1 litre (1¾ pints) of the milk, half the sugar and the butter in a large pan and add the rice. Bring to the simmer and cook for about 8–10 minutes until tender. Beat the egg yolks and remaining sugar together in a bowl. Boil the cream with the remaining milk. Pour the milk on to the yolks, stirring all the time. Mix this with the rice, then pour carefully into the caramel-lined moulds. Stand the moulds in a baking tray three-quarters filled with hot water and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20–30 minutes until set. When set, remove from the water bath and leave to cool.
The puddings must now be chilled until firm and totally set. Release from the dishes with a warm knife and turn out. The rice puddings will hold together with the custard, and the caramel will pour over the top.