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A common dessert in my family is a mix of crushed biscuit, chopped walnuts, coconut, cocoa, and condensed milk. It's mixed, flattened into a square dish and placed in the fridge for a couple of hours, after which it is quite solid.

I have always wondered what the mechanism was which caused it to go so solid, since each ingredient on their own doesn't solidify in the fridge. Sometimes you see melted butter in a recipe for this purpose but there isn't any in this one. Why does it go hard in the fridge?

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That sounds delicious. –  razumny May 11 at 14:23
    
What medium of coconut do you use -- dried? Liquid from a can? It sounds like something worth making. –  ashes999 May 11 at 17:41
    
@ashes999 I couldn't think of the word at the time, it was dessicated coconut. –  Stacey Anne May 11 at 18:15
    
@ruzumny It is delicious. I have tried to find out if it has a name but I haven't found a similar recipe online. –  Stacey Anne May 11 at 18:17

1 Answer 1

Condensed milk may not get hard in the fridge by itself, but it does firm up considerably. It's very pourable at room temperature but it's almost too viscous to pour once chilled. The crushed biscuit absorbs the most liquid components of the condensed milk, leaving those components that do firm up to do so. The cocoa would also do some of that, effectively "binding" those components of the condensed milk that would otherwise remain liquid. So what is left "unbound" solidifies.

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The thing that threw me off was that condensed milk has ramained pourable after being in the fridge in my experience. When I lived in asia for a year I got into the (unhealthy!) habit of having condensed milk in my tea. it remained relatively pourable in the fridge. –  Stacey Anne May 11 at 18:21

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