Carefully place the sugar in a pan, avoiding the sides. If the sugar crystals cling to the side of the pan, then drop back into the cooking sugar solution, they will start a chain reaction and you may create rock candy instead. Adding a bit of invert sugar (corn syrup), which doesn’t crystallize, helps prevent this.
Add the water, corn syrup and salt to the center of the pan. Cook the sugar solution on high. Only touch the sugar in the center, to make sure it’s all submerged in the water, then DO NOT TOUCH or stir until caramelized.
Then just sit back and wait, but keep an eye on it. Once the sugar starts to caramelize it can no longer crystallize, so it’s safe to stir it. You want to stir so it can caramelize evenly.
Once it is dark and is smoking, turn off the heat and quickly whisk in half the cream. Then the other half. It will sputter and may even seize a bit, but it will melt again, so don’t worry. Stir in the bourbon. You may need to turn the heat on low if you have a hard chunk of caramel. Strain in case there are any lumps. The caramel will thicken as it cools.