Okay, if I can help a newbie (as I feel I still am one myself), I thought I would post a couple helpful hints that I've learned...
1. melt your marshmallows in 30 second intervals and stir in between to ensure even melting and to avoid scorching. I also added about 3 TBS of water to my MM's while melting. Mix really well...grease your spoon.
2. if you have a KA, use that to mix your melted marshmallows and PS. I used to knead by hand and it would take me close to an hour to get it where I wanted it and my hands and arm would kill afterwards. It dawned on me today that I should try using my dough hook on my KA.
3. First what I did was smear crisco in the mixing bowl - on the bottom, on the sides and on the rim. Then I poured a couple cups of PS into the bowl. Then I added my melted MM's and then another cup of PS on top of that.
4. Grease your dough hook, stick it in and on the lowest speed, mix it up. When the dough starts to stick to the sides of the bowl slightly (about 3-5 minutes), I added a little bit more sugar and mixed up again for a few more minutes.
5. Grease your counter and pull out your dough. Knead it for a bit (maybe a minute or two) to get a feel for it and see if you need to add more PS. If so, add more PS to your mixing bowl, put your dough on top and mix again. I mixed for another 2-3 minutes, then flipped it out again and kneaded to make sure I had enough PS in it. PERFECT and I was done in less than 20 minutes.
Normally I'll have balls of PS within my MMF when I mix by hand. I am glad to report that this batch didn't have any. Could it be b/c I mixed it in my mixer or was it pure luck? Not sure.
1. use the PADDLE attachment first and foremost.
2. mix your butter/crisco until it is really smooth (I've gone as long as 8 to 10 minutes). Scrape your bowl down a couple times. I will do low to medium speed.
3. then add your liquid and mix until fully incorporated and totally smooth again.
4. add your PS and mix on low speed until nice and creamy. you may need to add more liquid depending on how thin you want it. I usually let it mix for another 10 minutes or so once I get the consistency I want.
I had used the whisk attachement in the past and had major troubles with air bubbles. I asked and everyone said to try the paddle. So I did....and this is how I did it. My last batch came out perfectly smooth and went on my cake without air bubbles and was smooth as a baby's butt.
I use the buttercream dream recipe here on CC is you are wondering. I want to try Sharon's recipe and technique next. As for MMF, I use 16 oz. mini MM's melted with 3 tbs of water and approximatley 2 lbs of PS. This depends on the weahter and time of year. Lately, I haven't had to use all 2 lbs. The last few times that I did, my MMF was too dry.
I am sure this is remedial info for some of you professionals, but I hope it helps a newbie out.
With MMF just dont give up on your first try. It took me 3-4 times to get the results I really liked with it. Practice practice