What could be more satisfying than a dessert prepared without the addition of sugar and with two of the most delicious ingredients par excellence, chocolate and cherries? The answer is: this Chocolate and cherry ganache, the pleasure of a dessert without the (or perhaps it is better to say ‘with very little’) guilt!!!

Yes, because while this fantastic recipe does not include added sugar and cream, it does not mean that it is calorie-free because it is made with avocado and chocolate, but at the same time, it is calories from nutritionally valuable foods.

Avocado is in fact rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (therefore good for our organism), antioxidants (it is no coincidence that it is used in many cosmetic products), vitamins, fibres and mineral salts, so much so that it has an anti-inflammatory function on our body: a true natural supplement. Moreover, for some years now, its cultivation has been spreading to Sicily and Sardinia, making its consumption much more environmentally sustainable for us Italians.

As far as chocolate is concerned, the choice you have at your disposal is very wide, so buy your favourite chocolate considering a cocoa percentage of no more than 55-60% (otherwise you will feel the need to add some sugar to the preparation) and perhaps lactose-free for those who are lactose intolerant: in short, Chocolate and Cherry Ganache is really the dessert for everyone, considering that with the right chocolate it is also suitable for vegans.

Also, since the cherry season is, alas, always too short for such a delicious fruit, indulge yourself with any other fruit to make the accompanying sauce, perhaps following the recipe for Panna cotta with berries.

Chocolate and cherry ganache with no added sugar

 18.83g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for chocolate ganache for 4 servings

  • 200g avocado pulp (approx. 1 avocado)
  • 120g chocolate with no added sugar*
  • 25g bitter cocoa*
  • water, if needed
  • edible flowers for decoration (optional)

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Ingredients for the cherry sauce

  • 400g cherries
  • the juice of 1/ 2 lemon
  • water


  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or microwave, then let it cool down.
  2. Put the avocado pulp in the blender with the cocoa powder and melted chocolate: blend to obtain a smooth and fluffy cream adding a few tablespoons of cold water if it is too hard.
  3. Stone the cherries and place them in a non-stick pan with the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water over high heat so that the cherries release some of their juice: this will take about 5 minutes.
  4. Assemble the cups by placing a portion of chocolate ganache and the cherries with their cooking liquid as a complement: you can serve them cold or warm as you like.

ganache di cioccolato e ciliegie

Version with gluten of Chocolate and cherry ganache with no added sugar

This recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptations are necessary.

Well, here we are with gluten-free Cardinali muffins… beautiful to look at, but especially delicious to eat.

Preparing them was a great fun because I needed someone from Sardinia who could teach me how to make the “real stuff”, so I invited my friend Maria Elena for a full immersion in Sardinian cuisine. So, together with Cardinali, we also prepared Culurgiones ravioli: amazing!

But let’s focus on the dessert now and find out what we need to prepare it!

Gluten free Cardinali muffins

63.18g carbohydrates per 100g


  • 200g gluten-free cake flour mix, brand Molino Dallagiovanna**
  • 200g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 90g milk
  • 75g seed oil
  • 8g baking powder*
  • 1 lemon peel, grated
  • icing sugar*

Ingredients for the pastry cream and to complete

  • 250g milk
  • 50g sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 35g potato starch*
  • 1 whole lemon peel
  • alkermes liqueur* or raspberry juice with a few drops of red colouring*

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)


  1. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and whip the latter until stiff.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the grated lemon zest, oil and flour, alternating with milk until all ingredients are well incorporated. Finally, add the sifted baking powder and lastly the egg whites.

Uno-Chef-per-gaia-cardinali-senza-glutine.Foto Chiara Marando

  1. Place 3-4 cm diameter ramekins inside silicone moulds, or aluminium ramekins, so that they do not get deformed during baking filling ¾ of the ramekins.
    Bake at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the cream. Heat the milk with the lemon peel. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, add the flour and mix well. Pour the lukewarm milk into the freshly prepared mixture and mix until smooth. Place everything on the heat and let it simmer, stirring with a whisk until the cream has thickened. Remove it from the heat and let it cool covered with cling film.
  3. And now assemble the cake.

Uno-chef-per-gaia-ricetta-senza.glutine-Foto Chiara Marando

  1. Holding a small knife at an angle, cut a cone and remove it whole from the sweets. Using a teaspoon, moisten the freshly hollowed-out inside with alkermes or red juice and do the same with the cones, dipping them in the coloured liquid until they are completely red.

uno-chef-per-gaia_Foto Chiara Marando

  1. Pour the cream into the holes you have drilled in the cakes and sprinkle with icing sugar. Finally, cover all the sweets with the cap, i.e. with the cones turned upside down with the tip facing upwards. Place them in the refrigerator and let them rest for a few hours to allow the cream to harden well.


Version with gluten of Cardinali muffins

Replace Molino Dallagiovanna gluten-free flour with standard flour and reduce the amount of milk for the dough to 75g instead of 90g.