This month we congratulate Choclette for being our blog of the month! Choclette blogs at Tin and Thyme where she develops vegetarian recipes in her Cornish home. She also has a sweet tooth and a passion for baking and chocolate.
Over to Choclette…
What inspired you to start your blog?
Way back at the beginning of 2009 we did a little social media course at work that included starting a blog. What a good idea for recording my recipes I thought, having no idea there was a whole food blogging community already out there.
Has your content changed much since you started? if so, how?
Yes indeed, it has changed quite radically. I started my blog, Chocolate Log Blog, in order to get me to explore that most indulgent of ingredients, chocolate and to be more creative with how I used it in cooking. I learned a huge amount, but after six years I was ready to move on. Earlier this year I moved the blog to Tin and Thyme, where I continue to bake and develop vegetarian recipes using mostly whole foods. Chocolate is still a passion, but it no longer has to be in every recipe. Getting out and about in beloved Cornwall and enjoying its many delights including food, of course, continues to feature.
What have your learned since starting your blog?
I’ve learned a lot about chocolate and also to be more creative in my cooking and baking. I’ve also learned a ton of stuff about social media, marketing and technical stuff (sort of!). I may still have a way to go to improve my photography, but I’ve learnt a lot in this field. Some of my early photographs, are quite frankly, appalling!
What has surprised you about blogging?
When I started, I had no idea, it would take over my life like it has. I wasn’t expecting to develop a world wide network of friends and collaborators. I certainly didn’t expect to earn a living doing it.
How do you balance blogging and real life?
This is a bit of a challenge. Since becoming self-employed, after I was made redundant a couple of years ago, I have never worked so many hours in my life. It’s hard to balance the two things . Food is an integral part life, so I’m never off duty. I do make sure though that I get out every day for a bit of exercise and fresh air.
What’s the best thing about writing your blog? And the worst?
I’ve learnt a whole load of new skills, met some great people and have had some fun experiences on courses and at events. Keeping up with all the admin can be tricky.
What advice would you give someone starting a foodie blog now?
Think long and hard about what it is you want to do. There are now millions of food bloggers out there, so find something you’re passionate about and really want to explore; try and give it your own unique voice.
Has blogging brought you any amazing opportunities or experiences?
I get to try out all sorts of equipment and ingredients. The postman often turns up with odd shaped boxes containing exotic fare: fragrant persimmons, freekah flour, blenders, spatulas, – you name it. Living in Cornwall, it’s a bit harder for me to get to events, but I’ve had a few fantastic experiences which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. We had an absolute ball at Blog Camp River Cottage a couple of months ago.
Which have been your most popular posts?
By far and away my most popular post since blogging at Tin and Thyme has been these Raspberry & White Chocolate Flapjacks
And which are your personal favourites?
I was particularly proud of this chocolate bar I made from scratch from cocoa nibs. It perhaps wasn’t as smooth as conventional chocolate, but it had a good snap and shine. It tasted mighty fine too.
Back in the days of Chocolate Log Blog I did quite a bit of experimenting with chocolate in savoury recipes. I found that a little dark chocolate really adds depth and richness to tomato sauce and goes very well with goat’s cheese. This chocolate and goat’s cheese variation of shakshuka is a real winner.
How does it feel to be chosen as Foodies100 blog of the month?
I’m delighted. Thank you very much.