When you want to create delicate, tasty sweet treats, consider making petit fours. Petit fours are small, bite-sized cakes that are often filled with a fruit filling. Make your petit fours using a miniature cupcake pan so that you don't have to worry with baking a large cake and then cutting it into pieces. Decorate the cupcakes so that they look like miniature cakes, including edible decorations.
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Place your butter and sugar inside a large mixing bowl and beat the mixture on medium speed with an electric mixer for about five minutes, or until it is fluffy.
Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating it until the eggs are just combined with the sugar and butter.
Mix the vanilla bean paste and the almond extract into the mixture.
Place flour, baking soda and salt inside a medium mixing bowl and whisk them together to combine them.
Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the sugar and butter. Mix the two ingredients in alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Be careful to beat the mixture only until the ingredients are combined because overly mixing them can result in a tough cake.
Spray your miniature cupcake pan with non-stick cooking spray. You don't want to use cupcake liners for your cupcake petit fours because you want the sides to be smooth, rather than ridged.
Pour the cake batter inside the miniature cupcake pan until each is about two-thirds of the way full.
Place the cupcake pan inside the oven and bake them for about eight to 10 minutes. Place a toothpick inside the centre of a cupcake to check whether the cupcake is done. If the toothpick comes out cleanly, it is done.
Remove the cupcake petit fours from the pan and allow them to cool completely before moving on.
Place strawberry jam inside a pastry bag. Fit the bag with a medium tip.
Push the pastry bag's tip inside the bottom of a cupcake until it is about a half-inch inside it. Squeeze the pastry bag to release some jam inside the cupcake. Squeeze a very small amount of jam inside the cupcake because if you overfill it, the jam will burst through the top of the cupcake. Repeat with the rest of the cupcakes.
Use a frosting spatula to spread frosting over the top and sides of each cupcake petit four. Make sure that the frosting is completely smooth, with no peaks.
Sprinkle coloured sugar all over the tops and sides of the cupcake petit fours to give them some added decorations.