As a blogger myself, I understand the ups and downs that come with running your own website. However, I find the positive definitely outweighs the negative. I had a conversation with photographer and blogger Sarah Fennel about how to overcome obstacles that may come with blogging and her perspective on pursuing your dreams. I also learned that we share the same belief about butter.
YHM: Under your ‘about me’ page, you mention that Broma Bakery is your way of sharing your love of food with others while indulging in your passion for photography. What else do you love about blogging?
Sarah Fennel: One thing that I really love about blogging is that you can connect with other people. You can get a lot of feedback on what you love doing and you can see what other people are doing as well.
If it excites me then others will be excited about it too.
YHM: Have you come across any obstacles and/or difficulties from blogging? If so, how did you overcome them?
SF: It can be really easy to compare yourself to other blogs because there are so many out there. I might think “Oh, it’s already been done” or “They’ve done this better.” I think a lot of bloggers struggle with it. I’ve been able to overcome it by making sure that 1) everything I put out is unique and I’ve put a twist on something and 2) it excites me. If it excites me then others will be excited about it too. I need to make sure that whatever I put out there is something I’m excited to see. As long as you share quality content, the feedback should come.
YHM: If you could describe your baking philosophy or style in 3 words, what would they be?
SF: Accessible, sexy and not fat-free.
Accessible: Although I enjoy things such as croissants or things that require a lot of technique, I much prefer to bake things that everyone can make. So when they look at a recipe, it’s not just “it’s beautiful” but they can make it too.
Sexy: My baking style is definitely more visual. Not only does it have to taste good but it has to look good. We eat with our eyes first so I think it’s very important to make things look appealing.
Not fat-free: There’s a lot of blogs that are health focused (Paleo, gluten-free, fat-free). And I think it’s an important niche but it’s not the niche I want to have. I think it’s okay to indulge as long as it’s in moderation. And things just taste better with butter.
If you are good at what you’re doing and willing to do the work, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t succeed.
YHM: Was it scary quitting your job to work full-time on your blog? And what advice would you give to young people who are considering quitting a job to pursue a passion or hobby?
SF: It was absolutely scary quitting my job. Luckily, everything fell into place at the right time. I always loved photography but I was beginning to do a lot of work with food photography, and I loved it. I had some savings so I was able to be on my own while doing that. It’s honestly been the best career move I’ve ever made.
I think we’re fortunate enough to be in this day and age where having a 9-5 job isn’t the norm anymore. Now is the time to go out there and do something we love. I also think that people just understand that we don’t have to be a doctor or lawyer, and sit at a desk 24-7.
My advice to those who are looking to quit their job to pursue a passion is that as long as you are motivated, passionate and are good at what you do, you will succeed. I strongly believe that. I definitely think you need that trifecta. If you are good at what you’re doing and willing to do the work, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t succeed.
YHM: What’s one of your favorite posts?
SF: My salted caramel brownies. They’re fudgy and salty. I love that sweet and salty combination. They’re pretty much the perfect combination.
YHM: What are your favorite blogs?
SF: 1) Joy the Baker. She’s the mother of all baking blogs. She’s been blogging for years and she’s so real. Her content looks really nice. She has a wide range of content that she produces, it’s not just desserts. She’s very straightforward and it comes across in her writing, recipes and photography.
2) I am a Food Blog. I love their photography style. Their name says it all. It’s all about good-looking food and great recipes. I can just scroll through it all day.
3) Half Baked Harvest. Tieghan lives on a rural farm so a lot of her posts are rustic. All of her recipes are super down-home, but she puts a really nice updated spin on them. Her photography is just incredible.
YHM: You mention that you have an insatiable sweet tooth. If you could have one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
SF: Brownies. There’s nothing better.
If you aren’t already familiar with Sarah Fennel and Broma Bakery, you should head on over to her blog for some serious food-spiration. All of her recipes look 10/10 and she shares everything from Bourbon blueberry basil donuts to Strawberry Nutella Poptarts.
I’m definitely going to make her Mint Chocolate Covered Oreos over the holiday break. As a recent graduate, I’m also taking her advice on pursuing our passions. How will you pursue your dreams and make things happen?For an exclusive share, Fennel whipped up a yummy double chocolate glazed donut with pistachios recipe for YHM. Get all the baking deets below!
For the donuts
- ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the glaze
- ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons corn syrup
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1–2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup roasted & salted pistachios, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a standard sized donut pan and set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chopped chocolate. Pour into medium sized bowl and stir in brown sugar, egg, milk, and salt. Fold in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda until just combined.
- Transfer mixture into a pastry bag or large ziplock with a hole cut in one corner. Pipe batter into donut molds, filling ⅔ of the way up the mold. Bake donuts for 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a donut comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before frosting.
- While the donuts are cooling, make the frosting. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter. Whisk in powdered sugar, heavy cream, corn syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth and shiny.
- Once the donuts have cooled, dip one side into the chocolate mixture. Use a spoon to smooth the glaze on the donut. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Serve and enjoy!
By Sarah Jaihe Lee / Portrait by Natasha Janardan