Homemade low carb, sugarfree black licorice (can also be black licorice gummies)


Sugar free Black Licorice

Be sure to read the *notes* under the recipe before starting because you have a couple options for anise extract, fennel seeds and the activated charcoal.  I will also explain how this recipe can be both/either gummies or licorice, depending on whether you dry them or not!

Sugar Free Black Licorice
(or Licorice Gummies)

1/4 c unflavored gelatin
1/2 c natural sweetener of choice (I use a mixture of 2-3 for best flavor)
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 c water* (see note about if you want to use Fennel Seeds in this recipe)
2 T real butter
1 T molasses
1/2 t sea salt
1 T activated charcoal
1 T anise extract

Prepare candy molds if you want to use them or prepare an 8" pan or 9X13" pan with a piece of parchment paper you've lightly buttered.  If you want nice thick pieces of black licorice, use the 8" size.  The 9X13 will give you a thin later of candy pieces. Personally I like them thicker and will touch on that at the end of the recipe.

In a saucepan on the stove place your unflavored gelatin, sweetener, heavy cream, (fennel or not) water, butter and molasses.  Whisk and stir over medium heat until the gelatine and sweetener are dissolved and it comes to a boil.  Boil about 2 minutes while stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and whisk in the activated charcoal and the anise extract.  

Pour into your prepared pan or molds.  Chill in the refrigerator to set for about 30 minutes.  Pop out of molds or slice with a knife into candies.



I used a mixture of real fennel seeds and about 1 t anise extract.  If you want to use real fennel seeds in this recipe instead of a whole tablespoon of anise extract, then add about 2-3 tablespoons of dried fennel seeds to the 1/2 cup of warm water the night before or day before you want to make this.  Let them soak all night/day either on the counter or in the fridge.  Use the back of a spoon to gently press them before straining.  (I then saved my seeds and let them sit out on a paper towel to dry and will use them later in things like pizza sauce as they still have flavor to them.)  Your water should be heavily 'anise' smelling by now.  Use it in place of most or all of the anise extract if you wish.  I used a mixture of both.  2 T fennel in 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon anise extract.

The molasses of course does have sugar - it's about 15 grams in the entire tablespoon and this is going to make a whole pan of licorice so the sugar count for each piece is going to be almost nothing.  You would have to eat a quarter of the whole batch to even equal 3 or 4 grams. 

Activated charcoal... I have this on hand at all times because we love CharcoCaps and I use activated charcoal in some of my homemade soaps.  For this recipe I just reached up in the cupboard and used about 6 (?) charcocaps that I pulled apart and used the powder in the syrup.  Without the activated charcoal (which is not regular old 'charcoal' like you find out in your grill!) your licorice will be a weird brown color.  This gives it a nice black color but also has health benefits!

The sweeteners... I have blogged about this numerous times.  For the best flavor in natural sweetener baking I keep a container in my pantry in which I always keep 2-3 different kinds mixed.  Usually  Erythritol and Monk Fruit, some Allulose, Stevia, maybe some Swerve and some Xylitol if I have it on hand.  Xylitol is good in this recipe because of how well it makes any kind of syrup or caramel, but for this batch - the photos and video - I only used  Erythritol, Monk Fruit and Allulose - there may be some Stevia powder in there right now as well, but I don't have any Xylitol right now!  :)

The SIZE OF PAN is super important.  I prefer an 8" or 9" square pan for this to make the pieces nice and thick like real licorice.  When you use the larger 9X13, it makes a very thin layer.  I personally don't like the thin layers as much so right after cutting, I layer 2 or 3 equal sized pieces on top of each other or roll a 4 inch strip into a round.  They stick to each other perfectly to make candies whatever size/shape you like.

Using the 8 or 9 inch pan, cut into typical licorice sized bites.


The gummy/licorice comment from above is explained here....

When I first make these they are gummy bites.  Black licorice flavored gummies.  Very yummy if you want gummies!  I don't care for those very much though as I want  a chewy licorice. 

I let them set out at room temperature, on the parchment paper for a few days to dry out.  Bingo!  If you eat these within the first 2-3 days they are gummies.  By letting them lay in a single layer on a piece of parchment at room temperature for 3 or more days, they will dry out more and get that chewy licorice texture instead of being gummy-like.





This is the brown syrup as I am adding the activated charcoal powder....



 A video of stirring in the activated charcoal


 A quick video of pouring the black licorice syrup into the pan


What it looks like in the pan before chilling.

A 9X13 pan makes a thin piece. I preferred to stack 2 or 3 finished slices to make a nice thick
bite but if you like them thin, you can use this large of a pan. 


Homemade Sugar Free Black Licorice 







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