Preheat oven to 300°F. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water and cook over medium heat. Swirl pan while sugar is cooking so that it caramelizes evenly. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to clean the sides of the pan occasionally. Cook until sugar is melted and color is golden brown. Remove from heat and immediately ladle evenly into 6 – 6 ounce ramekins. Reserve.
In a medium saucepan, bring milk to a boil over medium heat – do not scorch. Remove from heat. Reserve.
Combine remaining 11⁄4 cups sugar and the eggs in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip sugar and eggs together until pale and thick – approximately 4 minutes. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the milk into the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture into the pan of milk. Let rest for 2-3 minutes, then skim the froth from top of mixture. Pour mixture evenly into ramekins.
Bake in a water bath in center of oven until slightly set in the center – approximately 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Cool completely in refrigerator before serving.
To serve, run the tip of a paring knife between the custard and the inside of cup. Place a small plate upside down on top of the cup, then flip over. Holding the plate and cup together, give one firm and quick shake to loosen custard. When cup is removed, the caramel will run over the top and sides of custard. Serve with fresh berries if desired.