Among the crueller ironies of the modern world is mass-produced comfort food. It's supposed to come from your mum with love, rich with the bready aromas of home and hearth. Instead, it's probably extruded from a metal tube in an industrial estate in the Midlands. And comfort food in portions for one is doubly soul-destroying, providing irrefutable, copper-bottomed proof that absolutely nobody loves you at all.

Among the crueller ironies of the modern world is mass-produced comfort food. It's supposed to come from your mum with love, rich with the bready aromas of home and hearth. Instead, it's probably extruded from a metal tube in an industrial estate in the Midlands. And comfort food in portions for one is doubly soul-destroying, providing irrefutable, copper-bottomed proof that absolutely nobody loves you at all.

Anyway, the M&S bread and butter pudding turned out to be pretty great. Oven-baked, it presented a thick, brown crust speckled with delicate little caramelised raisins and split by a central crevasse revealing its custardy centre. The initial bite signalled loads of nutmeg (very good), but made it clear that this pudding was way too rich - overcompensating, perhaps, for its false pedigree by ladling on the egg and sugar.

I was always told that the secret of a great bread and butter pudding is the bread, which soaks up everything else into a daze-inducing pap. The M&S job seemed only to have two slices of bread in it, topping and tailing a congealed seam of plasma-like dairy stuff. I scoffed it anyway, because you can't get too much comfort these days.

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