Manhattan mousse

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Pastry professor: A delicate little bakery has brought urbane desserts to Folsom.

Pastry chef and former schoolteacher Musarrat Afshan has been educated by some heavy-hitters: She graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, then worked at New York’s River Café and Water Club. Since moving to California in 2002, she had worked under Ginger Elizabeth at Masque in El Dorado Hills. Eventually, she struck off on her own to bake wedding cakes and other confections out of her home and a commercial kitchen.

On January 12, Afshan opened her jewel of a storefront, Pretty Sweet, in Folsom’s Palladio at the Broadstone. The white walls are decorated with geometric gold paint that echoes the precision in her elegant desserts. The glass case shows off entremets layered with multiple flavors of mousse made with fresh fruits, macaroons with a traditional moist center in flavors like rose raspberry and earl gray, and a range of just-so tarts like strawberry gelée with pistachio mousse ($5.50).

“I always wanted to open up right away because I had so many things I wanted to offer that I just wanted people to come to the store and see the stuff and buy it, try it, taste it,” Afshan says. “I like things that are clean looking, simple, yet beautiful.”

Afshan continues to advance her education by flying to New York to take classes with her “pastry idols,” such as Elisa Strauss, creator of Confetti Cakes, and Lauri Ditunno of Cake Alchemy.

She wants to expose Folsom to desserts unlike those on offer in the surroundings: “My cakes, if you try them, they’re not overly sweet,” she says.

IPA not far away: This March, Hoppy Brewing Co. is moving after 19 years at 6300 Folsom Boulevard. Its last day open in East Sacramento will be February 26. But the business will be hopping only 10 minutes away, and it’ll open with a restaurant and taproom in Midtown this April.

Sushi shuffle: Sakamoto Sushi at 2131 J Street has reopened under new ownership as Otoro Sushi & Shabu, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. That’s the third sushi swap at the same location, including the change from Tamaya Restaurant to Sakamoto in 2016.

Taco Trade: Yet another Mexican restaurant plans to replace the recently shuttered Dos Coyotes Border Café at 1800 15th Street. Mas Taco Bar should be slinging more tacos on the R Street corridor in the near future.