Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper with a slight overhang on each side. Grease the parchment paper. Set side.
For the Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Filling:
Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 block of cream cheese and ½ cup sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Scrape the sides of your bowl.
Add the egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
In a large bowl, whisk ¾ cup cocoa powder and ½ teaspoon baking soda until combined.
Add ⅔ cup melted butter and whisk until smooth.
Add ½ cup espresso and continue whisking until your batter is creamy and thick. At this point, it would seem like the espresso doesn't want to incorporate into the batter. Keep whisking! It will come together.
Add the rest of your ingredients (except the flour) and whisk until fully incorporated.
Then add 1 ⅓ cups flour and gently fold until just combined. Do not over mix.
Transfer ½ of your brownie batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly.
Top with ⅔ of your salted caramel cream cheese batter. Gently run a knife through the batter to create swirls and help even out the cream cheese throughout the pan.
Then transfer the rest of your brownie batter and the rest of your cream cheese batter.
Run a knife through the top layer again. Gently tap the pan on your counter a few times to help the batter settle in.
Bake for 30-45 minutes or until it's starting to brown at the edges but the centre still feels a little jiggly. You want a toothpick inserted in the middle to come out with minimal but slightly moist crumbs (see notes).
Take out of the oven and allow to cool on the counter. Then chill 2-3 hours (or overnight) until the brownies are set (see notes).
Remove from pan, cut into squares using a sharp knife or a bench scraper and serve cold or at room temperature.
The yield depends on how small or big you cut your brownies. They are very rich; a little goes a long way.
Remember: it's better to under-bake than over-bake brownies. They will continue to bake as they cool in the pan.
You can totally serve these brownies fresh from the oven (allow them to cool slightly). At this point, they will be soft and fudgy. They are best chilled before serving though, to allow the cream cheese filling to set. They will be fudgy and chewy and amazing.
See the post for the complete step-by-step photos.